Outbreaks and Updates Travel Health

Cholera/Diarrheal Illness Updates

Promed has posted some new updates and it looks like Vietnam is getting into some trouble. 1216 people form 13 provinces have contracted acute diarrheal illness. This is since October 23, 2007. 157 cases are positive for Cholera. This appears to be linked to the raw shrimp paste, frequently used in local foods, and poor food hygiene.

This is not just a disease of rural areas, 2 chefs at a 5 star hotel restaurant tested positive for cholera bacteria, just yesterday!

A quote from the Promed Article that covered sums it up:
On Thu 8 Nov 2007, alone, the country detected 165 new infection
cases, including 47 from Hanoi capital, 41 from northern Ha Tay
province, and 20 from northern Hung Yen province.

Baghdad and Iraq continue to have an increase in cases, with the number of cholera cases increasing sharply from 11 to 24 in one week. The areas hardest hit appear to be in the north, with some activity in the center of the country, as well.

Adventure Doc Traveler’s Diarrhea


  1. A very good suggestion! The BRAT diet is one of the best steps in managing diarrhea and vomiting, not just in kids. Most all people who are either seen in the emergency room or admitted to a hospital floor are instructed about the BRAT diet, or they should be!

    The basic idea is to rest an inflammed GI tract. Another benefit is the avoidance of “hyper-osmolar” diarrhea. As the person with diarrhea tries to eat solid foods or dairy, the bits lay in the intestines, causing more water to be drawn into the lumen of the intestine. This can lead to more diarrhea. The decrease in digestive ability is due to the loss of the “brush border” that lines the insides of the intestines, where digestion actually occurs. When someone is suffering from a GI illness (viral, parasitic or bacterial) the brush-border is shed in the diarrhea. After a few days of bowel rest, with the BRAT diet, the brush border grows back and the person can resume a regular diet.

    Thanks for the post!


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