Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Don't Drink the Water

Suppose you figure the probability is 50% that you will become violently ill if you drink some tapwater while staying in a resort area. Suppose further that bottled or sterilized water is readily available as a substitute. Unless you were forgetful or careless, you would most likely eschew the tapwater in favour of something more likely to be free of disease-causing bacteria. In eco-speak, the expected benefits of drinking bottled water would outweigh the expected costs.

That's the point of this article, sent to me by BenS [registration required]. It also warns against eating raw shellfish and taking drinks with ice.

Dr. Holstege invoked the mantra of the road: "Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it." Otherwise, he said, be wary of foods that have not been refrigerated, as well as undercooked meat and raw seafood.
If you do become ill,

Remedies include the tried-and-true Pepto-Bismol; ciprofloxacin hydrochloride (brand name Cipro), a prescription antibiotic; and Xifaxan, another prescription antibiotic, which came on the market last year and may be useful as a preventative as well, according to a study published in May in The Annals of Internal Medicine.

Eschewing drugs, Patricia Yeo, executive chef at Sapa restaurant in Manhattan, claims success with a natural preventive: spices.
One other word of warning based on personal experience. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after handling paper currency.
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