Notes on the Symptoms, prevention and treatment of Cholera

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This infection is caused by bacteria affecting the alimentary canal of human being. It breaks out in epidemic form. Due to improper care and treatment, it may lead to a person’s death.

This infection is caused by bacteria affecting the alimentary canal of human being. It breaks out in epidemic form. Due to improper care and treatment, it may lead to a person’s death. It is an acute diarrhea diseases caused by vibrio cholera. The incubation period is very short ranging from few hours to 1 or 2 days, but may prolonged up to 5 days.

Symptoms

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The general symptoms of Cholera of the person affected passes frequent watery stools similar to rice water. The taste of the mouth is bitter and the person vomits spontaneously. The patient complains about gripping pain and cramps in legs. Symptoms of dehydration like sunken eyes, parched throat mouth, decreased/urination, cold and clammy extremities, unconsciousness etc. are observed. However, the severity of cholera is dependant on the rapidity and duration of fluid loss.

Mode of Spread

Spread of this disease occurs both by direct and indirect contamination.

(a) Directly from person to person through contaminated fingers while carelessly handing excreta and vomit of patients and contaminated linen and formites which is the most common cause of cholera is our country.

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(b) Indirectly spread through contaminated food and drinks. More specifically through faecally contaminated water. Fruits and vegetables washed with contaminated water can a source of infection.

Cholera spreads easily in a community with poor environmental sanitation. Along with it, numerous social factors have also been responsible for its spread such as human habits, favoring water and soil pollution, low standards of personal hygiene, lack of education and poor quality of life.

Treatment

In order to prevent dehydration, a child or individual suffering from cholera should be given plenty of fluids. The sugar-salt solution or OFIS canal dehydration solution should be given to the person frequently.

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Method to prepare sugar-salt solution:

1. Take a glass of clean water (250 ml)

2. Add three finger pinch of salt. It should not be more salty than tears.

3. Add a handful of sugar.

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4. If available add juice of half a lemon.

5. Seek medical advice as soon as cholera is suspected.

6. Inform the officials of nearest hospital or health centre.

7. Refer the patient to the hospital immediately.

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Prevention,

Cholera is a killer disease. The community should be thoroughly oriented to fight against it.

1. During an epidemic always drink boiled water or add chlorine tablet to drinking water.

2. Always cover the eatables to prevent fillies sitting on them.

3. Avoid cold and stale food available in the shops.

4. It is advisable to clean and boil the utensils contaminated by stool and vomit of the patient.

5. The patient’s clothes must be washed and dried in strong sunlight to kill the germs in it.

6. Maintain personal hygiene. Wash hands thoroughly after passing stool, before meals and after attending the sick.

7. General sanitary precautions to be taken by sprinkling disinfectants on the floor, anti-fly measures may be adopted and excreta should be disposed off properly.

8. Keep the surroundings clean to avoid flies.

9. Health education to be given to the adults and children as well as regarding the means to be adopted to guard against the cholera infection.

10. During festivals, special measures to be taken regarding drinking water, food preparation and sale, disposal of night soil etc.

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