Researchers have estimated that there are 1.3 to 4.0 million cases of cholera and 21,000 to 143,000 deaths worldwide. Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. In the Philippines, data from ProMed and surveillance revealed 42,071 suspected and confirmed cholera cases reported from 2008 to 2013, among which only 5,006 were confirmed. All age groups were affected. During 2015, there were 172,454 cases notified from 42 countries, including 1,304 deaths were reported to the World Health Organization.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. Most people who are infected with this bacterium takes between 12 hours to 5 days for them to sense the symptoms after ingesting the food or water. Some of the symptoms are sudden onset of frequent painless watery stools, vomiting and rapid dehydration. Cholera affects both children and adults.
Now, how to deal with Cholera? There are many ways on how to prevent and control it.
Here are some:
Drink only safe water. If unsure, boil drinking water. It is advisable that upon reaching the boiling point, extend boiling for two or more minutes.
Do water chlorination. It’s important to ensure the sanitation of the water that you use every day.
Keep food away from insects and rats by covering it. Pests are everywhere. Make sure it’s out of their reach.
Wash and cook food properly.
Sanitary disposal of human waste. Use toilet properly and clean toilet every day. Be careful with using public toilets.
Wash hands with soap after using toilet and before eating. It’s important you develop proper and good hygiene.
Lastly, keep your surroundings clean to prevent flies and other insects from breeding.
But if unfortunate and is suffering from it, there are treatments developed for people to have and follow. With the number of cases of cholera each year, the Department of Health developed an immediate treatment for it that would replace the lost body fluid by giving Oral Rehydration Solution or ORESOL. They also gave another option which is a homemade solution composed of 1 teaspoon of salt, 4 teaspoons of sugar mix to 1 liter of water.
The World Health Organization also suggest that appropriate antibiotics can be given to severe cases to diminish the duration of diarrhea, reduce the volume of rehydration fluids needed and shorten the duration of V. cholerae excretion. Also, there are two WHO prequalified oral cholera vaccines (OCV) currently available on the market. These vaccines were proven safe, effective and well accepted and are available for individuals aged one year and above.
There are a lot of things that could be done to avoid such risks and expenses. However, still the most effective way in preventing diseases is having and observing a clean environment. Obtaining that and maintaining a proper diet and regularly exercising will boost your immune system. Stay healthy to stay alive.
Photo credits: Google Images
Cholera. (2016). Retrieved December 14, 2016 from http://www.who.int/cholera/prevention_control/recommendations/en/index5.html
Cholera. (n.d). Retrieved December 14, 2016 from http://www.doh.gov.ph/node/2220
Ryan, E. (2015). Epidimiology of cholera in the Philippines. Retrieved Dec 17, 2016 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4287565/