Cholera–a Waterborne Illness

Cholera–a Waterborne Illness

Just like another waterborne disease, Cholera is spread via polluted water. The condition is caused by the Vibrio cholera bacteria that attacks the small intestines causing them to secrete fluids which result in diarrhoea.

A healthy person becomes infected by Cholera by ingesting contaminated water or food. The incubation period takes only two hours, up to 5 days, making it a very contagious disease, especially in areas with poor sanitation. Most infected individuals do not show symptoms; however, their faeces remain infectious 7 to 14 days after contracting the illness. Therefore, when infected faeces enter the water system, people using the water will be at risk of infection.

Chlorella outbreaks sometimes happen after severe disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes and typhoons that can damage sewages resulting in a mix-up of waste and clean water.

Chlorella can affect children and adults, killing healthy individuals in hours and putting those with weak immune systems suffering from other chronic conditions in greater jeopardy.

Dangers that Cholera Poses

Constant diarrhoea due to Cholera makes your body vulnerable to losing substantial amounts of vital body fluids, including electrolytes, sodium and potassium.

If symptoms are left untreated, dehydration can follow. The signs of cholera dehydration to watch out for may include dry mouth, extreme thirst, sunken eyes, shrivelled skin, irritability, fatigue, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, little urination, or none.

When 10% of body weight is lost, it is a sign of severe dehydration that can lead to kidney failure, coma, shock and even death.

Cholera Treatment

The bacteria may disappear within two weeks for people with mild cases who do not develop any symptoms. However, fluid replacement is a vital aspect of treatment in other conditions. Therefore, your doctor may prescribe oral hydration salts or intravenous fluids in more severe cases. Additional treatment may include antibiotics or Zinc supplements in children.

Cholera Vaccination for Prevention

Aside from practising good hygiene, such as hand washing and avoiding consuming raw food or tap water, a vaccine against Cholera is available to help guard you against infection. If you are considering travelling in areas with known outbreaks or locations where medical care is not easily accessible, your doctor can assess your risk and recommend cholera vaccination when necessary. Set an appointment with Anna Pharmacy through our hassle-free booking system.