So I have this theory that I can’t prove at all but I really wish I could. Almost two weeks ago I was called early in the morning by Betty. She said that many in her “home” (the twenty or so rooms in the compound where she lives that house upwards of 100 people) were sick could I please come? She was really anxious as several in her house and many others near her were sick all night. The whole place smelled of vomiting and diarrhea. A few were feverish, some weak and dehydrated. Many complained of stomach pain and almost everyone had either diarrhea or vomiting or both. The one thing that I held on to while trying not to think of a cholera epidemic was that several had it a day or two already and were getting better. There was only one little kid looked like he needed IV rehydration. So I blanket treated everyone with metronidazole and ciproflacin (my go-to meds for anything diarrheal) and handed out packets of oral rehydration salts like they were candy. Then I took Betty aside (as she was not one who was affected) gave her a bottle of bleach, several bars of antibacterial soap and a disinfection 101 lesson. Following up later in the day I heard that two more had become sick but everyone had stopped vomiting and most were feeling a bit better. I kind of chalked it up to too many people living in too small of a space, all using one filthy latrine and I know for a fact that almost no one uses soap when washing their hands. Then my team started getting sick. Same kind of symptoms. Other ugandans that I know asked me if I could give them medicine for “running stomach” too. Tuesday afternoon I got a gut ache like nothing I’d ever had before. I’d had some success with mebendazole in those I had followed up with and at least when the symptoms were my own I could really start to narrow things down. I diagnosed Giardiasis. And to affect that many it people seems like it was in the city water supply. But I had no way to confirm what I suspected. So I just encouraged everyone who talked to me to boil their water and told them that a 5 day course of mabendazole or metronidazole would help. Then, when I get back from Kangole yesterday I hear that the city water has been shut off and that they are cleaning the main tanks and that it will be a few more days before they turn it back on. Soroti's water comes from a large swamp and technically it is cleaned and chlorinated but I’ve learned that bleach doesn’t kill Giardia. Of course, there is no news. No one is telling anyone anything. No one is being told of Giardia or to protect themselves or if someone one has found something. So I just still have only suspicions. But there they are. A strange bunch of coincides….