Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease caused by Vibrio cholerae , which normally follows in epidemics. The disease affects both children and adults.
The Vibrio cholerae lives in coastal saltwater estuaries or wholesome.
Man is infected by eating contaminated food, but above all by swallowing water contaminated by infected human feces. There is no animal reservoir.
Common sources of contaminated food usually fish or raw or undercooked seafood and fruits and raw vegetables.
Cholera is common in areas where there is no infrastructure for sanitation wastewater (no sewer), or in war zones where infrastructure has been destroyed and in refugee camps. There cholera endemic areas in Africa, India and Southeast Asia. Epidemics appear periodically, the last notable outbreak which occurred in Zimbabwe since August 2008 until May 2009. Affected more than 90,000 people and killed more than 4000.
Once infected person, and after an incubation period of a few hours to five days, cholera suddenly starts as watery diarrhea, very watery, grayish, with mucus but no blood. It often causes abdominal pain but vomiting.
Diarrhea is caused by the action of a toxin into the microorganism that produces the small intestine.
Most diarrhea are usually mild, but in 5-10% of cases, fluid losses can become very large and complicated by severe dehydration and death within hours. Symptoms of severe dehydration include weakness, hypotension, drowsiness, coma and death if untreated.
Suspecting there cholera clinic to confirm the diagnosis by identifying the V. Cholerae in the stool under the microscope.
The main thing is to restore as quickly as possible fluids and salts lost through diarrhea. Oral rehydration early saves lives in cholera epidemics.
Oral rehydration solutions are usually sufficient in most cases mild and vomiting. Are preparations containing glucose, sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate is added to the water and that have proven highly effective to replenish losses diarrhea. There are several commercially prepared or can be prepared at home as directed by the WHO (World Health Organization).
When you are sick or have many severe vomiting, intravenous treatment is needed by the patient sera to improve.
Antibiotics are not essential for healing but reduce the duration of the disease and fluid losses. There are several effective antibiotics may be given tetracycline or ciprofloxacin as a single dose or in short cycles, as indicated by the clinician.
WHO recommends seeking medical or health care to all people who are in areas with cholera and diarrhea especially if you have severe diarrhea, as they begin to take controlled water or unsweetened solutions as soups.
The most important thing to prevent cholera is to have good infrastructure for the supply of clean water for drinking and wastewater pipeline and sewer.
You also need to take hygienic measures such as good hand washing in the preparation and preservation of food.
The injectable vaccine that was used in the past is no longer recommended. There are oral vaccines, but their protection is not 100% so it is also recommended to follow hygienic measures in areas with cholera.
The cholera vaccination has been discontinued as mandatory for international passenger traffic. For international travelers is generally low risk even if you go to endemic areas, if appropriate measures are taken.
Hygienic measures are:
WHO recommends oral rehydration solutions lead to travelers.
Vaccination is generally recommended to travelers who have close contact with the population in endemic areas as humanitarian aid workers in refugee camps or war zones.