By S.I. (staff writer) , published on July 12, 2022
What is Cholera?
Cholera is a bacterial disease spread primarily through contaminated water. It is caused by consuming contaminated food or water containing the bacterium Vibrio cholera . Cholera causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. Even in previously healthy people, untreated cholera can be fatal within hours.
Vibrio Cholerae, a comma-shaped gram-negative bacteria, is the causative agent of cholera .
V. cholerae binds to the intestinal walls and disrupts the normal flow of sodium and chloride. When V. cholerae attaches to the small intestine walls, the body secretes a large amount of water, resulting in diarrhea and rapid fluid and salt loss.
Common sources of Cholera include:
Cholera is rarely passed from person to person through casual contact.
The vast majority of cholera patients have no or only minor symptoms. According to the CDC, only about 10% of cholera patients have severe symptoms.
Even though the vast majority of people who are exposed to Vibrio cholerae do not become ill and are unaware that they have been infected. It is interesting to note that because they shed cholera bacteria in their stool for seven to fourteen days, they can still infect others through contaminated water.
The symptoms of cholera include ;
A cholera patient can lose up to 20 liters of fluid per day, leading to dehydration and shock.
Dehydration symptoms include
Cholera requires immediate treatment because it can lead to death within hours.
Common cholera treatment methods include :
Because dehydration is the most common cause of death from cholera, the most important treatment is to administer oral rehydration solution (ORS), also known as oral rehydration therapy (ORT).
The goal is to replace electrolytes and fluids that have been depleted. The ORS solution is available as a powder that can be mixed with boiled or bottled water.
The majority of cholera patients can be treated with oral rehydration alone, but severely dehydrated patients may require intravenous fluids as well.
While not required for cholera treatment, some antibiotics can reduce and shorten the duration of cholera-related diarrhea in critically ill patients.
It is used to reduce fluid requirements in severe cases of cholera.
Because of the growing risk of bacterial resistance, the WHO does not recommend the widespread use of antibiotics for cholera.
Reduced water and electrolyte absorption in cholera is linked to zinc deficiency. As a result, zinc plays an important role in symptom relief . The use of zinc with oral rehydration solutions has been shown to improve cholera treatment.