Cholera is an infectious disease that is usually spread through contaminated water. Cholera causes severe diarrhea and dehydration which can lead to death if not properly managed and treated.
Worldwide according to research approximately a 3-5million cholera cases and 100, 000-120,000 deaths are due to cholera annually. Approximately 4-10% of people suffer from severe cholera and if untreated, 50% of severe cases die of cholera.
Causes and risk factors
The bacteria that causes cholera is vibrio cholera and it’s mostly found in food and water which has been contaminated through faeces from a person who has the infection. When an individual eats food or drinks contaminated water the bacteria release a toxin in the intestines and that produced severe diarrhea which causes dehydration. The bacteria can be found in:
• Sources of water Supplies.
• Eating raw and uncooked seafood.
• Raw fruit and vegetables.
• Roadside food and drinks.
• Poor sanitary conditions.
• Reduced or nonexistent stomach acid.
• Type O blood.
• Raw or undercooked shellfish.
Symptoms of cholera
Often symptoms associated with cholera are mild but can sometimes be very serious. Although some people have no symptoms they can still contribute to the spread of the infection. They include watery diarrhea, vomiting which can lead to dehydration, symptoms of dehydration includes: Fatigue, dry mucous membrane, sunken eyes, thirst, low blood pressure, loss of skin elasticity, electrolyte in balance etc
Diagnosis of cholera
Treatment for Cholera
There is a vaccine for Cholera but there are guidelines for who should collect the vaccine. Treatment for cheese includes
1) Antibiotics therapy: It’s used for severe cases of cholera. Antibiotics are being prescribed by a doctor and it reduces fluid requirements and the length of illness.
2) Rehydration therapy: This is the main treatment for Cholera. It helps to restore all the fluids and electrolytes lost in the body during diarrhea and vomiting.
3) Zinc treatment: It helps to stop diarrhea and improves the patient condition.
In the most severe cases of cholera, there is a rapid loss of large amounts of fluids and electrolytes can lead to death. If treatment is not quickly given an individual can die of dehydration and shock hours to days after cholera symptoms first appear.
Although shock and severe dehydration are the worst complications of cholera, other problems can occur, such as:
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Dangerously low levels of blood sugar (glucose) can occur when people become too ill to eat.
Low potassium levels. People with cholera lose large quantities of minerals, including potassium, in their stools. Very low potassium levels interfere with heart and nerve function and are life-threatening.
Kidney failure. When the kidneys lose their filtering ability, excess amounts of fluids, some electrolytes, and wastes build up in the
Prevention of Cholera
• By boiling water before drinking and use safe water to prepare food, wash, brush, etc
• Washing fruits and vegetables well before eating
• By observing proper hygiene
• Washing hands regularly with soap and water
• Proper and adequate sanitation
• Store water in a clean, covered container
• Clean food and kitchen with soap and safe water before and after use.
• Wash after using the toilet
• Wash hand after contact with someone with Cholera
• Avoid buying food on the road
When to see a doctor
If you have diarrhea, especially severe diarrhea, and think you might have been exposed to cholera, seek treatment right away. Severe dehydration is a medical emergency that requires immediate care.