Subject: Returning home ill
Hi, Ziners:

As I begin preparations for my 2006 medical mission to Guatemala with Cascade Medical Team, I worry about getting sick again.

I came home from the 2004 mission quite ill with some kind of parasite. I lost more than 20 pounds & didn't feel back to normal for 4 months. About 34 of our team of 76 had some version of the same malady & not much success from many different doctors in getting a proper diagnosis.

I fared better after the 2005 mission, with only a light case of the abdominal cramps, diarrhea & so on, but many other team members were very ill. CDC in Atlanta finally diagnosed cyclospora, a parasite which doesn't respond to antibiotics, which is, of course, what everyone took in 2004. This year, 40 of us were dosed with good old sulfa drugs & all recovered quickly.

Many years ago I contracted some kind of parasitic infestation after living in Mexico for 6 months, but since then, hale & hearty is how I return from a trip.

So, what do you think is the secret to staying well, besides all the normal precautions: boil it, peel it, or don't eat it?

Gail In Eugene