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Cholera

1974

Cholera

Cholera

Cholera is an acute infectious bacterial infection resulting in painless and watery diarrhea in humans brought about by the ingestion of the orgasms through contaminated food or water. People who are affected might have abundant amounts of diarrhea. They thus develop dehydration and lose body fluids and this may at times become severe leading to their death.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of cholera disease include a watery diarrhea that usually contains mucus and some epithelial cells the size of pieces of rice, vomiting, rapid pulse, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes, low blood pressure, thirst, muscle cramps and especially in children, restlessness or irritability.

The affected persons require immediate hydration to stop the symptoms from continuing as they indicate that the victim is becoming dehydrated and may develop cholera. Often, cholera cases become higher in people with poor nutrition or elderly people where severe dehydration may lead to relentless electrolyte imbalances, acute renal failure or the individual may be in a coma. If not immediately treated, this relentless dehydration can quickly lead to shock and lead to death of the victim.

 Causes

Cholera is caused by a bacterium called V. cholerae that produces a toxin referred to as enterotoxin composed of two subunits A and B. The enterotoxin toxin makes human cells to remove water and electrolytes from the upper gastrointestinal tract, pumping it into the intestinal lumen. Here, the fluid and electrolytes are excreted as diarrheal fluid. The enterotoxin resembles that toxin created by the bacterium causing diphtheria because both of them secret the toxins into their adjacent setting and the toxin then enters the human cells. These bacteria are transmitted by drinking unhygienic water, but can also be ingested in contaminated food for instance, raw oysters.

Treatment

The most common and primary treatment for cholera involves rehydration of the patient with the Oral Rehydration Salts fluids or ORS. The ORS fluids are obtainable commercially and they contain glucose and electrolytes in pre packed containers. The general practitioner should assist in administering the ORS until dehydration stops and the patient feels better. Generally, antibiotics should be given to patients with more severe cholera infections since their role is to diminish fluid rehydration volumes and fasten recovery. This should however be taken as per the prescription of a general practitioner.  It is on the other hand important to treat a patient with antibiotics that are medically recognized to be effective against the infecting bacteria.

 

Prevention

Prevention of cholera involves several methods. Developed countries experience almost zero incidence of cholera because they have widespread structures put in place to manage its outbreak. For instance, such countries have extensive water treatment plants, most of the citizens have access to toilets and hand washing facilities. Besides, developed countries have food preparation facilities that primarily practice sanitary protocols. Even though these countries may be struck by occasional lapses and gaps in the above preventive methods, they have nonetheless averted many disease outbreaks including cholera.

People can reduce the chances of getting cholera disease by washing their hands thoroughly, avoiding regions or individuals with cholera, drinking treated water or similar safe fluids and consuming dirt free and well cooked food. Good personal hygiene is also the key. Make sure you avoid sharing personal items such as towels to make sure that you and your household is risk free. Whichever country you belong to, always make sure you eat and drink clean food. Boil your water prior to drinking and always wash your plates and dishes before using them. Cooking your food thoroughly can also help reduce your risk.

References

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