What is Cholera?

Cholera is caused by an infection of the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae in the small intestine. When a sizable quantity of the bacteria accumulates in the stomach through contaminated water or food taken orally, they begin to produce toxins (poisonous substances). The toxins are what cause the symptoms of the disease. The disease generally starts with vomiting and diarrhoea. This in turn infects the digestive system and the small intestine.

Is Cholera a serious disease?

Cholera is a serious problem if it is severe and it even causes death. Excessive vomiting and diarrhoea leads to dehydration, imbalance in the electrolyte composition and is fatal when it aggravates in the system. If the diarrhoea is excessive, death can occur in a matter of hours if the body is not rehydrated immediately.

How many types are there and how do they spread?

There is only one type of Cholera. The way of transmission is through either contaminated food or water.

What are the symptoms of Cholera?

The major symptoms of Cholera are diarrhoea and vomiting. However, low blood pressure, wrinkled hands, swollen eyes and high pulse rates are also seen as a result of dehydration caused by the loss of body fluids.

Whom should I consult if I have Cholera?

For Cholera, one should consult a General Physician in the case of both adults and children.

Does a Cholera patient recover easily?

Cholera is a curable disease. With Cholera, one has to continue eating and replenishing the body fluids and salts and this recovers the intestinal function. Oral rehydration therapy is the simple remedy.

Is Cholera contagious?

Cholera is not contagious. It cannot be spread from person to person. It can only be contracted by consuming water and foods infected with the Cholera germs.

Does Cholera affect the patient seriously?

Cholera can affect an individual permanently, if it is too severe. Death can occur within 2 hours if the Cholera is of an intense nature. If treated quickly the chances of a fatality declines, and only if left untreated the disease weakens the body and causes death.

How can Cholera be prevented?

To prevent Cholera, one has to observe effective sanitation procedures. Faecal water should be properly disposed. Cholera patients should observe sanitation and drink boiled water which is treated with chlorine bleach. Cleaning of hands and disinfecting water and chlorinating it are recommended. Sewage should be treated for bacteria. Boiling water with solar disinfestations, antimicrobial filters, are the most popular remedies. Public health awareness and practice of good sanitation habits helps prevent Cholera. Vaccines like to prevent Cholera are also available. But the Cholera vaccine does not provide 100% immunity from the disease, food hygiene precautions should also be taken to reduce the risk. When visiting an area with infected people, there is a high risk of becoming infected with Cholera.

The most notable cases of Cholera are musician Tchaikovsky, physicist Carnot, Charles the Tenth - King of France, and Polk –the former President of USA.

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