US issues tap water warning
Tourists have been warned against drinking tap water in Bermuda by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The information was highlighted by Esme Benjamin, wellness editor for online blog the Culture Trip, in her article “Don’t Drink the Tap Water When You Visit These Countries”.
She wrote: “Growing up in the West, with its strict sanitation standards and streamlined infrastructure, leaves you extra vulnerable once you step into an environment that’s less meticulous about cleanliness.
“This is because your microbiome — the bacteria, viruses and yeast that inhabit your body and lay the foundation for your immunity — simply isn’t as diverse as that of the local people.
“In other words, you are much more likely to get sick, even brushing your teeth or eating salad rinsed in water that isn’t 100 per cent free from contaminates.
“Your tummy might even take issue with water that is technically clean, but has a high mineral content it isn’t used to.”
Bermuda was included in the list of countries in the Americas, which included Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua and all the Caribbean islands.
The information was based on advice from the CDC.
The CDC said under the “eat and drink safely” section for Bermuda: “Unclean food and water can cause travellers’ diarrhoea and other diseases. Reduce your risk by sticking to safe food and water habits.”
It urged visitors not to drink tap or well water, ice made with tap or well water, drinks made with tap or well water and unpasteurised milk.
Elaine Watkinson, a senior public health analyst, said warnings had been issued before.
She told The Royal Gazette in 2016 that householders should treat untreated or “raw” water like raw meat.
The Department of Health’s Guidance on safe tank water, revised last year, recommended disinfecting tank water used for drinking and food preparation.
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