What is Cholera?

Cholera disease is a diarrheal one that can in a matter of hours result in death. It is caused by a bacteria called Vibrio cholera. Cholera occurs in epidemic form and is common in the subcontinent especially during the summer months and during floods. Ingestion of water contaminated with feces is the common method of acquiring this disease which spreads like wildfire. Again consumption of contaminated food from street vendors also contributes to the spread. The dirt, dust, filth, open sanitation, and cooking of food exposed to flies is common enough and thus there is a persistent tl1reat of an outbreak all the time. The incubation period is 24-48 hours only.

Clinical Features of Cholera

1. Sudden onset of painless watery voluminous diarrhea.
2. Vomiting.
3. Severe dehydration in a matter of hours.
4. Stool is “rice water” like.
5. BP drops, weakness, increased pulse rate.
6. Skin becomes greyish, loss of elasticity.
7. Sunken eyes, rings under the eyes.
8. Urine decreases.

Management of Cholera

1. Complete bed rest in isolation.
2. Oral rehydration therapy with water, sugar and common salt mix.
3. Scrupulous hygiene in disposing of body waste.
4. Consult a doctor.

Prevention of Cholera

1. Avoid eating food from street vendors.
2. Wash hands before a meal.
3. Drink water only from a reliable source.
4. Cholera vaccine should be taken prior to entering an epidemic area.