Cholera – What You Need to Know

By November 10, 2014Infections

There’s nothing better (and healthier) than a few gulps of water when you’re feeling thirsty, right Download Cambridge Eyelts? This may be true in countries where modern sewage and water treatments are available, but there are some places where a sip of water may be fatal because of a disease known as cholera.

What is Cholera?

Cholera is a disease that’s found in overcrowded and poverty-stricken areas with poor sanitation, which pollutes the water and food. Contaminated foods include: seafood, raw fruits and vegetables, and grains.

Warning signs

  • Rusty/broken pipes that lead into the main water supply
  • Don’t drink from shallow water or wells
  • Water contaminated by human waste
  • Don’t eat any food that touched (or been near) contaminated water

Signs and Symptoms of Cholera:

  • Frequent diarrhoea: This is commonly described as ‘rice pudding’ diarrhoea because of its texture, which contains white pus – it also has a fishy smell.
  • Repeated vomiting: Cholera sufferers will vomit a clear fluid on a regular basis
  • Dehydration: The combination of diarrhoea and vomiting causes severe dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.
  • Muscle cramps: Muscle cramps occur because of the loss of salt and potassium
  • Shock: This is a serious complication of dehydration: it can cause your blood pressure to drop and reduces the amount of oxygen in your body, causing shock – if left untreated, death may occur.

Children who have cholera usually have the same symptoms as adults, but the fluid loss can lead to seizures and they can even fall into a coma.

Can Cholera be Treated?

The good news is that, YES it can be treated! Fluids need to be pumped back into the body, the most common way is through Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) and antibiotics are also used to reduce the symptoms.

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There’s also a vaccine available, but it will only protect you for 3 to 6 months – it is not recommended to prevent or control cholera outbreaks.