The recently release film version of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's book, Love in the Time of Cholera, has been described as cutesy but there's nothing cute about cholera. If you’re traveling in Vietnam these days, do take care. What began in late October as an epidemic of acute diarrhea in northern Vietnam is turning out to be cholera:
Intellasia News Report (11/16/07)
In a number of cases, what got people was shrimp paste/sauce. That's purply mam tom (mam ruoc), a pungent, briny condiment widely used in Vietnamese cooking. People are advised to cook food properly, wash their hands with soap thoroughly, and boil drinking water to prevent an outbreak of cholera.