There’s a less welcome aspect of spring that sneaks in with Jalisco’s sunshine and heat. Gastro-intestinal illnesses are the second most common reason for seeking medical attention, in both Jalisco and Mexico. And the microbes that cause them thrive in the season’s warmer temperatures.
An extreme example, cholera (caused by Vibrio cholerae), can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid dehydration and death. Fortunately, you are unlikely to contract the disease. This, however, does not mean that common cousins like stomach flu, food-born microbes and other contaminants can’t have the same debilitating impact. Dehydration, especially in this climate, is extremely serious. Spare yourself a great deal of suffering with some basic prevention.Microbes multiply rapidly in unhygienic conditions, around garbage, animals and insects. They are killed by careful and thorough cooking, the usual basic hygiene measures and a few extra cautions to cope with warmer climates:
- Avoid raw fish and seafood
- Wash and disinfect fruits and veggies
- Boil or treat any unsealed water
- Wash your hands regularly
- Don’t use dirty dishes or utensils
- Store foods away from open air and dust
- Protect food from all insects
- Keep trash tightly sealed
- Choose fresh, well-stored food
- Verify that canned goods are in good condition (a popped-up lid is a sign of bacterial contamination and lack of a seal)
- Wash meats, fowl, fish and seafood before cooking
- Refrigerate all perishable products promptly
If you do get sick, drink plenty of fluids and carefully monitor your symptoms. Make sure you seek prompt medical attention if there is no improvement.