What's your most memorable India illness?

#1 Feb 17th, 2004, 10:55
Join Date:
Dec 2001
Seoul, South Korea
  • Rob_The_Pom is offline
I'm sure everyone has had a spine tingling case of food poisoning at some stage, but was is the most 'memorable' illness you've had in India?

For me, it was a case of Amoebic Dysentary - at it's worst I was able to time how long it took for water to re-appear at the other end! 40 minutes.

Can any other readers beat that?

(And I'm sure you can!)


The solution to your troubles is at the bottom of a glass.
#2 Feb 17th, 2004, 12:37
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May 2003
Northern California
  • wonderwomanusa is offline
Not in India, but in Kabul -- bacillic dysentery FIVE TIMES. <sigh>
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#3 Feb 17th, 2004, 14:14
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Sep 2003
New York City, USA
  • rickshawwallah is offline
bacillary and amoebic dysentery at the same time, on the first trek I ever did with a guide. I refused to admit to him that I was sick, so he was confused by my very frequent disappearances on the trail.

Then there was the time in Delhi when I was sure I had contracted meningitis, but then the symptoms mysteriously disappeared and I got on with life, feeling as though I had miraculously been given a second chance.
#4 Mar 9th, 2004, 09:33
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Mar 2004
Bay Area
  • Desert Spring is offline
MRSA Staph infection - God knows how :>

Healing up as we speak. Totally gross!
#5 Mar 9th, 2004, 09:56
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Jul 2002
Umeå , Sweden
  • vistet is offline
The hot summer days in Delhi I dubbed the expression/euphemism "spray paint attachment" ...
#6 Mar 9th, 2004, 10:43
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Sep 2001
McLaren Vale, South Australia
  • rab is offline

Totally disgusting - sulphuric banana poo! At least it came on on the way home. Never felt so gross.

If it's gonna happen it will - was really careful everywhere I went. Put it down to drinking from wet glasses - sounds silly but true - water in the glass from rinsing prior to being served a drink.

Went on the council list as a notifiable disease carrier and had a visit from an Environmental Health Officer!

Cured it with metronidazole - a totally foul antibiotic.
#7 Mar 9th, 2004, 12:28
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Aug 2003
the real surf city
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  • bijapuri is offline
perforated duodenal ulcer in Bijapur.

3 days of vomiting blood later, the hotel mgr organized a jeep to Solapur where they did emergency surgery, and saved my life.
N. Wadia Hospital rocks!
#8 Mar 9th, 2004, 13:24
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Nov 2003
  • Wanderer22 is offline
The worst I had in India was Hepatitis A. Looked like a banana for ages. Had to eat a bland diet and go on the wagon, limiting my self to nothing stronger than nimbo pani. Only good news is that you gain immunity.

Only thing worse while travelling was attack of Crohns disease aboard a Russian ship in the middle of the North Pacific.

#9 Mar 9th, 2004, 14:25
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Aug 2001
Calgary, Canada
  • picklepak is offline
Well, I got Vivax Malaria, which lay dormant and then hit me more than nine months (!) after leaving India and heading for Australia... it was very difficult for doctors to diagnose back here in Canada, because there are <100 cases per year in a country of 30 million people.
#10 Mar 9th, 2004, 14:55
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Oct 2003
  • Arun is offline
I'm not known to be a hypochondiriac, but when I was alone in Udaipur I convinced myself that I had all of the symptoms listed in LP for malaria.

Off I went to a local clinic recommended by my guest house. It was a classic third-world scene - about 50 people swathed in bandages crowded about the storefront entrance. When the attendant saw me standing there he brought me right in to the good doctor. The doc asked if I was having chills, and when I said no he assured me I would be fine the next day.

Not exactly a thorough check-up, but he was right. What's more, he wouldn't even accept payment for the consultation.

All in all a memorable experience.
#11 Mar 9th, 2004, 21:11
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Mar 2004
  • stuhawkes is offline


I have not been ill yet. I think it's a combination of luck, common sense and a good tip I was given.

I now always eat a tub of local natural yoghurt as soon as I arrive in a new area. I was told it gives you lots of good bugs and just enough bad ones for you to develop a tolerance, but not enough to get ill.

Having written this, I am now certain to become horribly ill the next time I visit.
#12 Mar 9th, 2004, 23:06
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Jun 2003
State of Contemplation
  • Vasko is offline

an amoeba story

I began suspecting something was wrong when all the beverages I drank started running straight through me. As such, this phenomenon isn’t all that odd: a similar flow is sometimes acquired after drinking numerous pints of beer within a short amount of time. Under these “normal” conditions, however, the flow is accompanied with laughter and the liquid comes out of the right place. At this time I wasn’t feeling particularly joyous and, to be clear, the liquid was definitely coming out of all the wrong places.

So it was time to haul my ass to the doctor. In a weakened and feverish delirium I hobbled to the front gate of my hotel in Chennai to catch a ride to the nearest hospital. I had already made a deal with the first guy who offered me a ride but changed my mind after he fetched his Honda Hero –motorcycle from around the corner. I had mistaken him for a rickshaw-wallah and refused politely. I succeeded in hailing a three-wheeled drive in no time (no big feat in Chennai). The driver agrees to take me to the hospital and off we go.

We move onward for a measly 50 meters and the guy parks outside a building that looks suspiciously like a handicraft emporium. He demands that I go inside to look at all the excellent goods on offer. After a literally feverish, ten-minute argument I have him convinced that a) I’m seriously ill, b) I want to go to the hospital and c) due to the aforementioned, I have no real interest in ogling any bronze Ganesha statues at the present moment. He lets out a grunt of dissatisfaction and off we go again.

Finally we get to the hospital and I get to see the doctor almost immediately on arrival. He gives me a routine check-up and proceeds to write me a prescription based on the thought “I’ll give you all kinds of drugs, one of them will work”. I politely ask for more exact medical practice and a stool test, and to my relief, the doctor obliges even though he can not hide the fact that he thinks its a waste of time.

A few moments pass and I’m sitting in the lab, where a no-nonsense nurse shoves a small cup in my hand and spits out the blunt order: “Please pass movement”. I sit there for a few seconds going over the command and then realize, oh!, of course she means “shit in the cup, please”… (as if there were any other possible options in the given situation).

“Where is the toilet?”, I ask. “No toilet”, is her terse reply. Once again I find myself sitting there with my mouth open, going over the words I just heard. I must find a place where I can “pass movement”. I get up and make me way outside, and after a short but confused wandering, find a pay-per-use toilet in the parking lot. Ah, a good old squat toilet, no lights, wet floors. Passing and actually capturing my movement into a tiny cup in this space seemed like a pretty daunting task. I won’t go into further details, but after a few minutes of careful planning and some amazing acrobatics there was a squirt of green liquid in the container. I was embarrassed, because the sample was barely visible and didn’t even remotely resemble a stool. (You know how as a kid you proudly present your poo to your parents… okay, I won’t get into that Freudian stuff, either.)

That very same evening the big moment had arrived: I held in my hand a paper that had my name humorously misspelled and the official words: Faeces Report. The report was quite impressive, even pronouncing the color of the sample in some detail. The most important finding was, however, the amoeba. (I went on to eat a nasty antibiotic which made my pee black.)
#13 Mar 10th, 2004, 02:54
Join Date:
Dec 2003
  • Andreas is offline
When I came home from a two week long holiday in India, I had to give a salmonella test and wait for the results before I was allowed to return back to work (I work with provisions).

With not even a single symptome, my doctor phoned seven days later after I had given the test, saying I had salmonella. I was on sick leave for over a month before I could return back to work. This occured three weeks before Christmas and during Christmas and New Year, it was impossible to give any new tests because the laboratories were all closed for the holidays.

After three green test results in a row, I could finally return to work.


P.S. The girl I travelled with said I was asking for salmonella since I ate chicken every day for two weeks. Maybe she had a point? D.S.
#14 Mar 10th, 2004, 05:39
Join Date:
Jul 2002
  • LuAnnandJawahar is offline
I think Bijapuri wins the prize so far for the most serious problem!!! Tip too late for Vasko--but always just go ahead and take a stool sample to the doc. Easier to get in the privacy of your own guesthouse. Those empty plastic film cannisters are excellent for this purpose.
Reject violence.
#15 Mar 10th, 2004, 08:52
Join Date:
Jul 2003
Nashik, INDIA
  • SHIMLA is offline
Being an Indian and having lived in India for all but the last one and a half of my 41 years of existence; I do not know whether I am qualified to answer this question, but anyway here goes:

While on a market survey in the hot,rural markets of Sholapur district of Maharashtra way back in the summer of 1984, I contracted hepatitis and had to rush home(Mumbai) leaving the survey incomplete. The illness put me out of action for two months and on a strict diet for six months. That nightmarish period of my life will never be forgotten !
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !

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