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Any reports of illness

Michdix

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
#1
I started walking on may 4th with 2 weeks to go as far as I could. I loved it. Unfortunately I have spent the last 3 days extremely sick and have only left my hostel once and that was to go to the farmacia. The farmacia gave me medication for the diarrhea. The first night I also had fever, chills, and vomiting. I still cant eat and the diarrhea has only subsided slightly.
I'm posting this as if there are any known viruses circulating on the Camino it will be helpful information to give my doctor.
My big concern now is that tomorrow I need to take a bus to Bilbao as my plane leaves Friday. I'm assuming there aren't always bathrooms on the buses or is that not the case.
Any information regarding viruses or buses would be much appreciated
 
#2
I started walking on may 4th with 2 weeks to go as far as I could. I loved it. Unfortunately I have spent the last 3 days extremely sick and have only left my hostel once and that was to go to the farmacia. The farmacia gave me medication for the diarrhea. The first night I also had fever, chills, and vomiting. I still cant eat and the diarrhea has only subsided slightly.
I'm posting this as if there are any known viruses circulating on the Camino it will be helpful information to give my doctor.
My big concern now is that tomorrow I need to take a bus to Bilbao as my plane leaves Friday. I'm assuming there aren't always bathrooms on the buses or is that not the case.
Any information regarding viruses or buses would be much appreciated
Hello Michdix

I am not on the Camino now so I do not know about any vira circulating now.
But what you describe are symptoms after food poisoning.
If this is the cause for your sicknes, drinking sufficient water and getting electrolytes are essential to recovering.
As you are preparing to leave Spain I will suggest that you seek medical advice as soon as possible.
The doctor should be able to make a diagnosis and prescribe medications.
Also, if you indeed are having a serious sickness, and you have som travel insurance, it should cover the cost to prolong your stay until you have recovered.

Have a look at these websites regarding food poisoning.
https://www.healthline.com/health/food-poisoning
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20356230

I wish you will have a speedy recovery.
Lettinggo
 

mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona - Santiago 2014, St. Jean to Estella June 2016, Estella to Santiago April 17, 2018
#3
I had those same symtoms on my 2014 camino and it was food poisoning. No solid food, lots of water and electrolytes for two days got me through it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#4
I started walking on may 4th with 2 weeks to go as far as I could. I loved it. Unfortunately I have spent the last 3 days extremely sick and have only left my hostel once and that was to go to the farmacia. The farmacia gave me medication for the diarrhea. The first night I also had fever, chills, and vomiting. I still cant eat and the diarrhea has only subsided slightly.
I'm posting this as if there are any known viruses circulating on the Camino it will be helpful information to give my doctor.
My big concern now is that tomorrow I need to take a bus to Bilbao as my plane leaves Friday. I'm assuming there aren't always bathrooms on the buses or is that not the case.
Any information regarding viruses or buses would be much appreciated
Hi @Michdix - as the others have said, this is most likely food poisoning (although I'm not there so can't know for sure!). You probably picked it up from some contaminated food you ate - the incubation period can be anything from a few hours to several days depending on the bug, so it's very hard to pinpoint the source. Happened to my mother on our last Camino - really awful and you have my heartfelt sympathies.

Importantly though - you mention getting medication for the diarrhea from the farmacia - was this the kind of thing you take to stop diarrhea (brand names like Immodium, etc)? Because if so, you need to stop taking it if you want to get better I'm afraid. It's ok as an emergency measure to get you to the next place with a toilet, but will actually prolong symptoms if you continue to take it with a gastrointestinal illness (food poisoning or virus). The diarrhea is helping rid your body of the infection, and will ease off once that happens. To put it bluntly - "better out than in!" The best (really only) "medication" for you is lots of water plus electrolytes. You can buy electrolyte sachets at the farmacia which you can add to your water. They may be referred to as oral rehydration solution (I used this term - in English - and they understood me). It's important because it helps your body absorb the water to replace the fluid it has lost, so just drinking gallons of water isn't enough because part of what the infection does is prevent water absorption in the gut. We got a product called Sueroral Hiposodico, added a sachet to a litre of water and she started to feel better almost straight away - although it still took a few days to ease off altogether.

As suggested above, I would say try to stay put for a couple more days. You won't be in any state to take a long bus ride tomorrow, that would just be miserable. And same goes for the flight in fact. But with good hydration you should improve quickly. And if the diarrhea continues please consider seeking out a doctor before you travel home - your hospitalera/o will be able to direct you to a medical centre. You don't mention where you are right now, but if you're in anything above village size there should be a medical centre.

Good luck and get well soon!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
#5
I interested to know where on the camino you picked up this bug.
 

Michdix

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
#6
Thanks to everyone for their replies and extensive information. I spent a great deal of time online prior to posting but this has been the most valuable. In particular the advice to avoid the diarrhea medication would have been good for me to follow earlier. It didn't stop the diarrhea but I did think I was getting a bit better. During g the first two nights I started to black out several times while on the toilet but haven't since.
It was likely in Najera where I contracted the bug. I'm now in Santo domingo
Michelle
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#7
For a short bus trip of about an hour and 30 minutes, chances are the bus will not have a toilet.

It sounds like you have been very sick. I hope you get well soon.
 

Michdix

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
#8
My dr visit confirmed everything started on this forum.
-Likely good poisoning possibly salmonella
- the medicine provided by the farmacia was the wrong approach
He recommended citrosal powder to add to water and mo food u til tomorrow, when I can start with yogurt

Thanks everyone for your information and support.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#9
You can also purchase Aquarius sport drink in any tienda. It is the Euro equivalent to Gatorade. I have used it to help with hydration. It does help. But, electrolyte preparations obtained from a pharmacy are likely better. Buy extras. Stay on rehydration solutions even after your tummy feels better.

The advice you received here is spot-on. However, there are two schools of thought regarding the immodium type medication to slow your gut motility down. Several folks above have stated that 'getting all the bad stuff out' ASAP is the way to go. There is a second school of thought, which I subscribe to, that says that slowing the motility down helps your body absorb more water in the intestines and helps avoid dehydration. I know my notion is proven medically.

Also, biologically speaking, the only way you could possibly flush ALL the bad microbes out of your system would be with a antibiotic laced flush. We all know that is not going to happen. My guess is that, by the time you read this, the worst is likely over...hopefully...

So, the bottom line is choose your treatment protocol, and avoid moving forward until you can safely control the 'urge to purge.' If you do take a bus, many but not all intercity buses (like on ALSA) do have airplane style restrooms just adjacent to the rear door.

The take away from this unfortunate experience is to be far more careful regarding what you eat and drink. Also, as a preventative measure, try to restrict yourself to using only bottled water for the duration of this Camino. The water comes to you in new, and clean bottles. Please dispose of empties properly.

Avoid refilling water bottles at any fuente / fountain. And watch the fried and oily foods so common in the Spanish diet. They do use a lot of olive oil in their cooking.

Personally, I can live on ham and cheese (jamon con queso) bocadillos with the odd glass of red wine (vino tinto) or beer (cerveza). I am not an adventurous eater anyway.

But, I did learn early on in my Camino career that, short of physical death the worst thing that can happen is what you are experiencing.:eek: You have my understanding and sympathy.:)

This too shall pass...no pun intended...o_O
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#10
My dr visit confirmed everything started on this forum.
-Likely good poisoning possibly salmonella
- the medicine provided by the farmacia was the wrong approach
He recommended citrosal powder to add to water and mo food u til tomorrow, when I can start with yogurt

Thanks everyone for your information and support.
Beware the eggs sunny side up!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#11
For future reference -- many longer distance buses, but not all, have toilets - they are not in the rear like bus toilets in the US, they are located at the mid-bus exit as you go down the steps (it's NOT outside!) - small door on the left - they don't look like they're large enough, but they are - barely.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - June 2018
#12
As for any water issues - I purchased and am taking the "Life Straw" that just adapts to numerous types of commonly purchased water bottle - I 'm using it with my camelback - may add a bit extra weight to bottle but in my humble opinion better safe then sorry! This is the second one I have bought as I got one for my daughter for her hiking adventures - her's was just the straw to drink right from streams.
Hope you feel better soon!!!
www.mycaminosresolve.com for details this week - I leave in 7 days and start May 31st if weather allows for start out of SJPDP
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
#13
I arrived home last Sunday morning and still had some slight residual effects of "The Camino Bug" which I picked up way back in Leon.....I was given medication at the pharmacy and advised to drink plenty of fluids but have only a light diet until everything was back to normal......all okay again now.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#14
Several folks above have stated that 'getting all the bad stuff out' ASAP is the way to go. There is a second school of thought, which I subscribe to, that says that slowing the motility down helps your body absorb more water in the intestines and helps avoid dehydration. I know my notion is proven medically.
With all due respect, Tom, I can't agree, based on a lot of experience with this (in myself and others) in the developing world.
But that's just my opinion. And we who are not medical professionals shouldn't ever offer our opinions as advice. That's how misinformation gets spread. And in this case that could be dangerous. Please don't offer 'medical proof' unless you have the expertise to deeply understand the whole picture and back it up with data.

What follows are some official websites that offer up-to-date, accurate, and useful information about prevention and treatment of foodborne illness.
https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/foodborne-germs.html
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/175569-overview
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/175569-treatment
https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/747838_2
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#15
I concur with your disagreement. We, the both of us, are just trying to be helpful to our fellow pilgrims. However, you are correct, we at NOT medical professionals.

My advice and recommendations were based on the more common traveler's 'loose stomach' found in most developed countries as a result of dietary changes, or limited exposure to contaminated food or water. Personally, I have suffered these conditions on several occasions, but thankfully never while on Camino. And, the only time I had a problem anywhere in Spain was at a tapas bar in Barcelona about 12 years ago. It was there that I became reacquainted with our old friend..."Sal Monella" ... Yuck!

I cannot speak to; nor did I intend to cover the more serious import of similar disease in the less developed countries, or areas where gastrointestinal diseases are endemic. I regret that misdirection. Your information is superior in that regard.

I did read each of the links you provided. They are very helpful. Thank you for providing them. I hope other read them as well, before they travel.
 

MichelleO

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug/Sept 2018
#16
My husband has just contracted food poisoning in Pamplona. He has the shivers, is cold has diarrhea and feels like vomiting. We had booked and paid for a double room in Puente la Reina so we caught the bus here (I carried 2 backpacks and he hobbled slowly along) and we're spending 2 nights here. Not sure he'll be strong enough to walk after this so our Camino plans will have to be modified - as we didn't have a lot of spare days.
 


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