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Bacteria question

San Antonio, Texas
posts: 175
reviews: 15
Bacteria question

We have been to Puerto Rico before, but have never heard of a specific bacteria that is mentioned in the latest guidebook we have. They mention a bacteria called "chisto" and say that is found in rivers there. Does anyone know about this particular bacteria? Thanks!

El Yunque National...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Rico
posts: 5,520
reviews: 14
1. Re: Bacteria question

Never heard of it, and can find no other reference to a bacteria with that name.

Don't drink the river water and you won;t have to worry about anything in the water!.

San Juan
posts: 1,857
reviews: 3
2. Re: Bacteria question

never heard anything like that .

Cleveland, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Puerto Rico, Carolina
posts: 7,295
reviews: 22
3. Re: Bacteria question

That guide book is old. From 2004 and also says to stay at the Hyatts in Dorado. There is no other mention of it anywhere. I've drank the water in the rain forest and have swam in the streams. Only issue I have had is COLD!!!

San Juan
posts: 4,471
reviews: 11
4. Re: Bacteria question

Never in my life I have heard about that!

Edited: 3:25 pm, December 06, 2011
San Antonio, Texas
posts: 175
reviews: 15
5. Re: Bacteria question


Thanks my husband did some more research and it is actually Schistosomiasis. Which can enter the body either orally or through the skin. So does anyone know which bodies of water ar safe to swim/wade?

San Antonio, Texas
posts: 175
reviews: 15
6. Re: Bacteria question

more research from the preventive medicine sources:

Schistosomiasis, leptospirosis and giardia are endemic, and even brackish water can be affected, but salt water, and agitated fresh water are fine. It is okay to swim in the rocky pool under the La Mina waterfall in EL Yunque, but not to cool our feet in the many little waterfalls in El Yunque, or to trail our fingers in the brackish water under the mangrove roots on the way to the biobay.

Destination Expert
for Puerto Rico
posts: 1,388
reviews: 56
7. Re: Bacteria question

Schistosomiasis is known to locals as bilharzia. It is a bacteria that could be found in ponds and lakes with high concentration of snails. This bacteria is not found in rivers or anyplace where water is running. When I was young I was always advised to stay away from swiming in lakes because of bilharzia. As far as how rare is this bacteria, I have never know anyone that has adquired it.

At El Yunque the water is always flowing, so you would not encounter this bacteria. I feel very safe swimming at El Yunque. It is a federal national park, so it is always monitored.

8. Re: Bacteria question

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