Edmonton Sun | 06Nov2005 | Orest Slepokura
Letter to Editor

"Fort George fever"

RE: "DON'T go home again," by Mindelle Jacobs, Nov. 01, 2005. Thirty years ago, when I taught ESL in Fort George on James Bay's eastern shore, the natives there wryly referred to a condition called "Fort George fever", the diarrhea caused by drinking unboiled water. It was a nasty condition, but not without its moments of grim levity. A colleague with whom I shared digs had a perpetually irritable bowel that no amount of precautions could remedy; he routinely masked the telltale sounds of it by running the bath water. More than once, on exiting the toilet, I had encountered him jumping desperately from foot to foot to contain his sudden need for quick relief, so urgent that sometimes he neglected to turn on the taps. During the time I lived in Fort George, I drank mostly bottled water. I must have consumed a city reservoir's worth.

Orest Slepokura
Strathmore, Alta