Cholera is a bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water. Cholera causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. In ignored cases cholera can be fatal in a matter of hours, even in previously healthy people. Signs and symptoms include:
• Rapid heart rate
• Loss of skin elasticity (the ability to return to original position quickly if pinched)
• Dry mucous membranes, including the inside of the mouth, throat, nose, and eyelids
• Low blood pressure
• Muscle cramps
HOW IS CHOLERA DIAGNOSED?
Rapid cholera dipstick tests are now available that enable health care providers in remote areas to confirm diagnosis of cholera in its early stages. Early detection helps to decrease death rates at the start of cholera outbreaks and leads to earlier public health interventions for outbreak control.
HOW IS CHOLERA TREATED?
The treatment will be done by the general physician or gastroenterologist with the help of antibiotics. For very severe cases, the doctor may hospitalise the patient for intravenous administration under medical observation. Also, one must be careful to drink filtered water and wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating to prevent this disease and recover from it.
DID YOU KNOW?
Though the modern sewage system and sanitation facilities have helped largely in reducing the number of cholera cases, about 150,000 cases are reported to World Health Organization every year.