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admin 31.03.2016

Cholera is one of the world’s more notorious diseases because of its ability to produce outbreaks and quickly kill significant numbers of people. Once inside your GI tract, the bacterium begins wreaking havoc in as soon as 5 hours or as long as 5 days.
You should also pay attention to the World Health Organization website to see the latest information on outbreaks, if there are any. Finally, there is a vaccine available for Cholera, but it is not as effective as many other vaccines (roughly 50% effective after the first year and 60% after the second) and it is currently not recommended by the CDC unless you are traveling to an area that is affected by an outbreak.
If you are in an area with a cholera outbreak or if you are exhibiting symptoms of cholera and you are in an area where it is endemic, you should get to a clinic for treatment as quickly as possible.
Antibiotics may shorten the length of cholera infection and they may also decrease the severity, but they are generally not required for treatment.
It is unlikely that you will have a run-in with cholera, but it’s important to know the basics regardless.
Seeing this post a few weeks ago inspired me to write about my bout with cholera for an a-z blog challenge.
A cholera epidemic has caused more than 250 deaths in western DRC as it spreads through villages and towns along the Congo River.
A cholera epidemic has caused more than 250 deaths in western Democratic Republic of Congo. Eliezer's father: "To get to the MSF treatment center, we spent all night traveling down the Congo River from Bokuma to Mbandaka [approximately 37 miles]. Late in the evening I held Eliezer in my arms and and we got a place on the last motorized convoy to Mbandaka.
I have mixed emotions; I am so relieved for my son, but at the same time I'm worried for the other people with the same symptoms in Bokuma.
Ebengo's mother: "He loves playing—he's always trying to sneak away to meet up with his friends.
Then I remembered the radio announcements they have been playing about the cholera epidemic. Anna's mother: "I come from the village of Impombo, a long way away from Mbandaka [approximately 56 miles].
Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. Apart from prescribing antibiotics, a doctor wills advice the patient to constantly replace the fluid lost using oral re-hydration solutions. Symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection. Although there is a vaccine against cholera, the CDC and World Health Organization don’t normally recommend it because it may not protect up to half of the people who receive it and it lasts only a few months. Information for preppers on all aspects of emergency preparedness, prepping and food storage. The World Health Organization defines diarrhea as “the passage of 3 or more loose or liquid stools per day, or more frequently than is normal for the individual.”  These diseases are often accompanied by several other signs and symptoms including abdominal pain, fever, increased heart rate, dizziness and blood in the stool. A friend who is a Doctor told me that other than protecting them from further exposure to the bacteria, the most effective treatment was oral rehydration.  Fluids should be given as soon as the patient can take them. A study in Bangladesh showed that zinc supplementation significantly reduced the duration and severity of diarrhea in children suffering from cholera 1.
Roy SK, Hossain MJ, Khatun W, Chakraborty B, Chowdhury S, Begum A, Mah-e-Muneer S, Shafique S, Khanam M, Chowdhury R. In light of this fact, it is hard to believe that it is actually a highly treatable disease.

For detailed tips on this, please see our article on traveler’s diarrhea where we have posted general guidelines for eating and drinking while traveling. Often, cholera can be treated solely with oral rehydration therapy, but in some cases, the fluids cannot be tolerated and in others, you may be severely dehydrated. Many of cholera’s victims are the young and elderly in places where treatment is difficult to access in time.
He followed a course of malaria treatment for a week at the village health center, but with no results. And so when I got back from the market, I was surprised to find him already in bed at 5 p.m. I live not far away, just behind the Wangata reference hospital, so without delay, at the crack of dawn I came to the MSF treatment center. He has been moved out of 'C' ward [for the most severe cases] and is now under observation in the recuperation ward.
I wasn't there; it's my neighbors who saw that Daniel was getting very sick and they came and found me. And when we got here I was still afraid—I have no family here, no brothers or sisters, so I was totally alone and afraid. My son and I paddled a pirogue [dugout canoe] all through the night from dusk till dawn to get Anna to the CTC. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.
During the monsoons this problem is further compounded by the overflowing of sewers and water logging.
Depending on the severity of the condition a patient might need to be rehydrated intravenously. However, you can protect yourself and your family by using only water that has been boiled, water that has been chemically disinfected or bottled water. She holds a Masters degree in Microbiology and was working at several microbiological and biochemical research institutes around the world.
They crop up during floods, landslide, hurricanes, and other emergencies where ‘basic’ services are interrupted.
The study was conducted with 179 children, 3-14 years old, who were admitted to a hospital within 24 hours of the onset of cholera symptoms. By eating or drinking something that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person.
The disease is spreading quickly through villages and towns along the Congo River and is on track to soon reach Kinshasa, the crowded capital city.
As soon as we got here, they started treating him and now he's much better—they say that soon he'll be able to go home.
I had heard the information that MSF was sending out about cholera on the radio and that's why I knew to come. I started having diarrhea and I got a very bad stomachache and I felt I could hardly stand. I was out in my pirogue [dugout canoe] and they came and found me and together we brought him here. The treatment has been good, and the doctors and nurses have worked ceaselessly to help us. The bacteria has the ability to produce toxins within the human body which leads to painless, watery diarrhoea also called rice water stools because of its appearance. Vibrio cholera is present in a patient’s stools, and when this stool is not properly disposed, it leads to contamination of common water bodies.

Cholera is a self limiting condition, and the greatest risk that a patient faces is severe dehydration.
A solution using 1 tablespoon Chlorox per gallon of water can be sprayed on surfaces to disinfect them.
In the study, all children received antibiotics and rehydration therapy as needed, but those in the intervention group also received zinc supplementation.
Nonetheless, it’s important to know the basics about cholera prevention and treatment.
If you do nothing about it, there is a good chance that it will be fatal as the combination of severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance is difficult to overcome. It was on the radio that I heard about the cholera epidemic and that’s when I realized the only option was to get to the CTC as quickly as possible. They took me straight to the observation ward, settled me onto a toilet-chair and started giving me a medicine drink.
I preferred to see her die in the hospital than to die myself of shame if I just stayed in Impondo. A doctor usually diagnosis cholera through either a blood or stool sample in combination with the symptoms of the patient. About one in 20 people infected have severe watery diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, which can quickly lead to dehydration. Clothing and linens need to be well washed, preferably in hot water with bleach.  If you are short of water or have no bleach, exposure to sunlight has been shown to kill many bacteria and viruses. Children who received zinc supplementation had 8 fewer hours of diarrheal illness and 10% less diarrheal stool volume, on average.
In addition to violent, frequent and profuse vomiting and diarrhea, cholera can also turn the skin a blue-gray color — a result of the extreme fluid loss. Other symptoms are closely related to rapid loss of fluids from the body like mild fever, body ache, abdominal pain and cramps, lethargy and fatigue, excessive thirst, headaches, loss of elasticity of the skin etc. Although there is a vaccine available in the countries like the United States, India still does not have a vaccination program in place. Although many infected people may have minimal or no symptoms, they can still contribute to spread of the infection. First thing in the morning I jumped on a passing taxi-bicycle and went straight to the nearest pharmacy. There were radio messages that were very clear—the treatment in Mbandaka was good and free. That being said, the vaccine is not very effective in preventing the disease in the case of an outbreak. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of dehydration include rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes, including the inside of the mouth, throat, nose, and eyelids, low blood pressure, thirst, muscle cramps. Now, after some treatment here, I am feeling more relaxed; Anna has got her strength back and has even started smiling. I keep asking myself a thousand and one questions: did I pick it up at the central market, where I work as a tax-collector?

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