Cholera is caused by a bacteria called Vibrio Cholera and is a severely infectious disease which can be deadly. Around 206 serogroups of V.cholerae have been identified.
Spread: V. cholerae likes water and can be found in contaminated water, food which has been washed in contaminated water and food which has used human excrement to fertilise the food.
Spread through bad hygiene, eg not wahsing hands after using toilets. People can be infected, carrying the bacteria for 7 - 14 days before becoming sick, and spreading cholera during this time affecting other people.
Fish - shellfish and fish eaten which were found in contaminated water.
Cholera is easily caught and cured, but can be deadly if not treated.
High risk patients include older people, young children, babies and immune compromised persons, persons who have recently been to an area hit by cyclones/tornadoes/hurricanes, anyone who has ingested contaminated water or food, healthcare workers
Also known as Blue death, cholera patients in the late stages are dehydrated and lack lustre, with a blue tinge to the skin.
Where is cholera found:
Infected water, infected shellfish from the waterproof. High risk areas include areas where sanitation is poor,
After a natural disaster eg Beira, the city hardest hit by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique
Symptoms can take between a few hours to 5 days. People can be carriers before showing the signs of diarrhoea.
Vibrio cholera increase in the small intestine and release toxins which cause diarrhoea and dehydration. It might not be obvious from the outset that the person has cholera, as the diarrhoea presents itself in a similar way to other types of diarhoea.
NEVER use anti-motility drugs eg Loperamide
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