Please help: I lived in California from 1994 to 2000, stayed there at various intervals after 2000, and came back here recently to check on a property. I have cholera but it didn’t spread. I am living in fear of a highly contagious, easily spread virus, called siamiasis (swine flu here) that is now in our area. I was diagnosed with that 2 years ago and while I was healthy for the rest of the period, I’m having trouble with my health now. I know if I have any diarrhea I will get the siamiasis virus. I would love to know what screening procedures and tests are in place for screening for this virus in California. Can anyone offer any advice for being able to go back to the United States? Thanks for any help.
A: I’m sorry to hear about your situation. Cholera is one of the most common foodborne illnesses in the world and can be very serious if there are no provisions for treating or eliminating the bacteria.
In a case like yours, you can get the disease in your own home, particularly if you were exposed to food contaminated with the siamiasis bacteria. Because the siamiasis bacteria can live in the mouth and stomach, this is not always the case with many other foodborne diseases. Even so, any food you eat will likely be affected if you are unable to eliminate or treat the bacteria that causes the siamiasis infection.
The siamiasis bacteria are particularly harmful to pregnant women, newborn babies, and infants, and it is uncommon for adult adults to become infected.
The siamiasis bacteria can be transmitted in food or water, but not through close contact. Siamiasis does not cause diarrhea, but that does not mean it’s easy to control when you get infected. Once you become infected, it can spread very easily to other foods and household items such as fruits and vegetables, clothes, and other objects.
Due to its transmission and the debilitating effects of the disease, healthcare personnel from the United States and other countries are trained and equipped to treat and prevent the siamiasis bacteria from passing to the next generation, although in countries where the illness is common, screening for the disease and the establishment of healthcare for patients and their families are not widely available.
I encourage you to visit the CDC website and read up on the siamiasis situation around the world. Even if you are worried about returning to the United States, it is highly recommended that you do all you can to limit your exposure and to protect yourself and your family.
Once you are sure that you have eliminated the siamiasis bacteria from your home, ask your doctor if any symptoms that may be associated with siamiasis have been occurring. Certain factors, such as using bleach to eliminate the bacteria from your home or from your clothing or household objects, might be part of the reason for the development of siamiasis, so check up on your health and fitness regimen.
Source: Trevor Parker is a personal and family health coach. You can find more of his work at momentlife.net.