Wednesday, April 1, 2009
There was an interesting discussion about the tap water here in Ensenada on the morning radio net (VHF 21a 8:00am). Most cruisers have 5 gallon Sparklettes bottles of water on board that they get filled locally. When I asked about this, one yachtista mentioned getting typhoid and not trusting the water. Another old hand claimed that he drinks the water and that typhoid, which is endemic here (the colored areas on the map show endemic areas, red is shows stronger tendencies), is mostly likely transmitted through human contact. Shaking hands is a common practice among the friendly locals.
I googled and found that typhoid infections may be a fairly common occurrence among cruisers passing through the area. It is very possible that locals have some natural immunity that tourists do not.
We got vaccinated against typhus before we left California, but the uncertainty still causes you to pause. I suppose as our tanks empty, we will purchase water. We may think twice about grabbing that taco without washing hands. All in all, this is a treatable and preventable disorder and should not be a major concern.