This article explains cholera treatment, symptoms and causes. Throughout history, there have been virulent diseases that spread quickly causing epidemics that threatened to wipe out large sections of the human population. Cholera is one of those diseases; it is highly infectious and can cause medical emergencies in countries, especially across Africa where the disease still infects millions of people each year. But the disease is quite easy to prevent and treat, so you can keep yourself and your family free from cholera by knowing more about its mode of infection and available treatment options.
Cholera is an acute infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera which grows, multiplies and spreads quickly among humans living in areas with poor sanitary practices. It is associated with severe dehydration, watery diarrhoea and loss of electrolytes. It is a very fatal disease; once infected, a healthy adult can die within a few hours if left untreated and the fatality rates are much higher in children and infants.
A person infected with cholera will develop symptoms that include;
· Watery diarrhea sometimes called ‘rice water stools’ because it looks like the water that has been used to wash rice.
· Severe dehydration that causes dry mouth, sunken eyes, reduced sweating, dizziness and rapid weight loss.
· Vomiting and leg cramps.
The bacteria V. Cholera is responsible for causing the disease. It thrives and spreads rapidly in areas with dense human population and poor sanitation. Infection in humans is mostly through ingesting food and water that has been contaminated by the bacteria.
The bacterial infection can also spread through poorly cooked vegetables and seafood like oysters and crabs.
Due to its high fatality rates and the fact that symptoms of cholera start developing after the infection has been in the body for between 12 hours to 5 days, a cholera be done immediately these symptoms are noticed. The most common treatment measures include the following:
Rehydration therapy: Cholera causes severe dehydration as the body loses up to 20 litres of fluid in a day which can result in shock and death. The first line of cholera treatment usually involves oral rehydration therapy (ORT) where water is mixed with salt and sugar and given to the patient. Prepared ORT can be bought from medicine stores, but a quick homemade salt-sugar solution can also be administered.
Medication: There are a number of drugs that are available for cholera treatment; these are mostly antibacterial and anti-diarrhoea drugs. But some might not be very effective in clearing the body system of the bacteria as they have been a rise in drug-resistant strains of the V. cholera.
Herbal remedy: The use of herbal medicines has proved to be very effective in treating cholera especially in African communities where conventional drugs are not widely available. The strong antibacterial properties of these herbs have more efficacy than the synthetic alternatives, and it can rid the body of the bacteria and boost the immune system against recurrent infections.
As with all diseases, prevention remains the best way to combat the spread of cholera. Imbibe frequent hand washing habit, drink boiled water or those from clean sources, and cook all foods properly before eating.
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