Fear has surfaced again. Just as we were about to heave a sigh of relief after the chaos of Covid 19 and Monkeypox subsided, “Cholera” emerged threatening to end more lives! But will history repeat itself? And to what extent shall we be worried about this new disease?
Hence, here is everything you need to know about Cholera, the current terror.
What is Cholera?
Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Vibrio Cholera. It damages the small intestine, leading to chronic watery diarrhea, and eventually dehydration. This bacterium is mainly transmitted from contaminated food and water; be it from contaminated wells, seafood, raw fruits and vegetables, and grains.
What are the symptoms?
Even though not all Cholera carriers develop symptoms, they can still transmit the disease through their stool. However, Cholera symptoms can take between 12 hours to 5 days to appear and usually last for 2 weeks. Cholera symptoms include:
- Intense diarrhea that resembles rice-water stool due to its milky appearance
- Severe thirst
In fact, what rings alarm bells is the intense vomiting and diarrhea that cause dehydration and lead to the loss of crucial fluids and substances in the body such as potassium, sodium, and electrolytes.
Keep a close eye on the signs of dehydration that include: irritability, low blood pressure, dry skin, loss of skin elasticity, irregular heart rate, low urine output, and sunken eyes.
Is Cholera treatable?
The good news is that Cholera is not a new disease and it can be easily treated. Most people with mild Cholera are being treated with oral rehydration solution (ORS) which includes drinking significant amounts of water, sugar, and salt mixture. However, in severe cases, an intravenous solution is required, and it entails introducing fluids into your veins.
Moreover, it is highly recommended to take the Cholera vaccine,” Vaxchora”, 10 days before traveling to endemic countries.
However, this doesn’t mean that Cholera shouldn’t be taken seriously. This disease can be life-threatening especially since severe dehydration can lead to shock, coma, and death within hours if not treated immediately.
How to fend off Cholera?
Just like Cholera treatment, Cholera prevention doesn’t take a rocket scientist!
Since poor sanitation is the main cause of Cholera outbreaks, the following precautions can keep Cholera at bay:
- Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating.
- Avoid drinking tap water even while brushing your teeth.
- Stay away from street food.
- Make sure that your food is well-cooked and hot.
- Always clean vegetables and fruits with water that is chemically disinfected.
- Be aware of undercooked shellfish!
- Stick to pasteurized dairy products and always keep them in the refrigerator.
Like any other disease, Cholera can be fatal if left untreated! However, there is nothing to worry about! Cholera treatments are available and accessible. All you have to do is protect yourself and your loved ones by following the above precautions.
Stay safe everyone!