Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Horrible Things That Happen at Sea: Dysentary

Good Morning everyone! in lieu of the next installment of Dolphins: Jerks of the Sea which I assure you will be painstakingly researched and at least mildly funny, I'm starting off my next recurring feature Horrible Things That Happen at Sea.
Also called the flux or the bloody flux, dysentery is repulsive and definitely something a person would rather avoid.

Caused by microorganisms that one drinks in unsanitary water, dysentery was common on ships and in the colonies of America. It can either be caused by amoebas or several kinds of bacteria. Characterized by bloody, unrelenting, soul destroying diarrhea, Dysentery presents itself in all corners of the world. Even "Montezuma's Revenge" is a form on amoebotic dysentery.

If you were to get dysentery, the key to keeping yourself alive is hydration with clean water, usually boiled. Of course, modern hospitalization handily manages the infections and hydration. But for pirates back before convenient and plentiful hospitals were often wholly screwed.

Interesting fact:
If a person is fed milk products too early in their recovery from Dysentery they can develop "temporary" lactose intolerance that can last for years.

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