bowel, patients continue to lose weight even after the diarrhea stops because they cannot absorb nutrients.

The organism does not appear to be halted by iodine or chlorine and can even elude filtration systems. The only thing that kills it is boiling the water in which it lives.


About a week after ingestion, the disease begins with severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. It then progresses to weeks of mild fever, debilitating fatigue, and loss of appetite; patients can lose 15 to 20 pounds. While the disease is not normally fatal, some patients have been hospitalized because of dehydration.


The antibiotic Bactrim, once used routinely to treat diarrhea, can shorten the term of the illness, although most other diarrhea-causing organisms are now resistant to the drug. Alternately, a combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole has been established as effective therapy. Those with impaired immune systems require higher doses and longer therapy.

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