Cholera: A Recent Epidemic
Cholera in an intestinal infection caused by Vibrio cholerae. Its symptoms include profuse secretory diarrhea. Cholera can be endemic, epidemic or pandemic. This disease still remains a challenge to the modern world. Although it can be asymptomatic or mild but in severe complications it can cause death within hours due to dehydration. About one in 20 infected people have severe water diarrhea along with vomiting, leading to dehydration. Even the asymptomatic people can spread the infection. Other symptoms include rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes, low blood pressure, thirst and muscle cramps.
Precautionary measures include increased water intake and use of boiled water for drinking, washing face, teeth, washing vegetable and fruits, washing utensils. Avoid raw or unpeeled fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk, uncooked meat. It is highly treatable disease but hydration is must and maintained. Antibiotics are not used for emergency treatment but it can only reduce the span of disease by half and thus help in further spread of disease .
Director General of ‘Global Task Force; on cholera control side event in observance of WHA, held of 25th May, 2022 stated that, ‘Although cholera was eliminated from the globe north more than 150 years ago, it continues to plague the global south. Cholera is a disease of inequity. Almost exclusively, it affects the communities without adequate water, sanitation and hygiene and those who have been displaced. Despite pandemic, humanitarian crises and natural disasters, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia all conducted preventive campaigns with oral cholera vaccine. Cases and deaths have declined in the recent years but preliminary data for 2021 shows a massive increase in the number of cholera-related death, with an average case fatality rate of 3%. The trend in 2022 remains very concerning, with at least 14 countries experiencing new cholera outbreaks. This is why the work of Global Task Force on Cholera Control is so important’ .
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