Cholera is an infectious disease of the small intestines. It is common in areas with poor hygiene and sanitation as well as poor water systems. It is due to drinking water or eating food with contamination of feces.
Cholera is sometimes called the blue death because it is a rapid killer that causes an infected persons skin to turn blue from severe dehydration. Upon ingesting the water-borne bacteria, they start producing a toxin in the stomach and intestines.
Is cholera contagious
Cholera disease is highly contagious. Cholera can be transferred person to person by infected fecal matter entering a mouth or by water or food contaminated with Vibriocholerae bacteria. The organisms can survive well in salty waters and can contaminate humans and other organisms that contact or swim in the water.
It commonly causes watery diarrhea that can easily lead to dehydration thus death. This is if not properly treated. There are several other symptoms that can detect it.
How is cholera disease spread
The major cause of cholera is a bacteria called Vibrio cholera. It is found in contaminated food and drinks. The contamination is commonly by feces from an infected person. This is either direct or indirect (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food).
Uncooked fruits, vegetables, and other foods can also contain the bacteria that cause cholera. Most of these are unhygienic for example food and drinks sold by vendors.
In Uganda, there are high cases of cholera in slums as well as some markets because of poor sanitation.
Symptoms and Prevention of Cholera
These are known to common as soon as the bacteria settles. The infected person starts to pass the bacteria in his or her stool thus the severe diarrhea. However, in 2 to 3 days, one starts showing other symptoms such as; nausea, vomiting, mild to severe dehydration, irregular heartbeat, and low blood pressure
Other symptoms are majorly due to either the severe diarrhea as well as dehydration. Sunken eyes, dry mouth, extreme thirst, reduced urine output.
Most of the above symptoms also occur in children though some might be more serious.
Prevention is always better than cure therefore one is better off preventing cholera. This comes to as easy as washing hands before eating, washing fruits and vegetables, eating well cooked food and so on.
Treatment of cholera disease
However, if one is already infected, there are common remedies or treatments. Such as Oral Re-hydration salt, zinc supplements and antibiotics.
Cholera may seem something easy to deal with but if not properly treated, it may turn fatal.
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The word cholera originated from the Greek language. Cholera is believed to have started from the Indian subcontinent as evidenced by its prevalence in the region for centuries.
Early outbreaks in this region are believed to have been because of poor living conditions. The presence of pools of still water, both of which provide ideal conditions for cholera to thrive are existent in this region.
The disease first spread by long distance trade (land and sea) to Russia in 1817, later to the rest of Europe, and from Europe to North America and the rest of the world.