This is a bacterial disease causing severe diarrhoea and dehydration, usually spread in water.
Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.
Cholera is fatal if not treated right away.
Cholera has been nicknamed the “blue death” because a person’s skin may turn bluish-gray from extreme loss of fluids.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are 1.3 million to 4 million cases of Cholera each year.
Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera, is usually found in food or water contaminated by feces from a person with the infection.
Common sources include:
•Municipal water supplies
•Ice made from municipal water
•Foods and drinks sold by street vendors
•Vegetables grown with water containing human wastes
•Raw or undercooked fish and seafood caught in waters polluted with sewage.
Symptoms of cholera is between a few hours to five days after infection. About one in 20 people infected have severe watery diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, which can quickly lead to dehydration.
You can protect yourself and your family by using only water that has been boiled, water that has been chemically disinfected, or bottle water.
You should also avoid raw foods, including the following:
•Unpeeled fruits and vegetables
•Unpasteurized milk and milk products
•Raw or under-cooked meat or shellfish
•Fish caught in tropical reefs, which may be contaminated.
Treatment consists of fluids and antibiotics such as oral rehydration therapy and IV fluids.
Written by: Sarah Amah