Safeguard yourself from Cholera
Cholera has been diagnosed in Chennai. We have providing some basic information on Cholera to help in understanding the disease and prevent it. If you have diarrhea do not panic, do not self medicate, ask for ORS in the pharmacy, take the Oral Rehydration Solution and seek medical help.
What is Cholera Disease?
- Cholera disease causes a lot of watery diarrhea and vomiting
- Cholera diarrhea can look like cloudy rice water
- Cholera can cause death from dehydration (the loss of water and salts from the body) within hours if not treated
*Cholera is an infection in the small intestine caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Read on..
The main symptoms are profuse, watery diarrhea and vomiting.
Transmission occurs primarily by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person, including one with no apparent symptoms. The severity of the diarrhea and vomiting can lead to rapid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, and death in some cases.
The primary treatment is oral rehydration therapy, typically with oral rehydration solution (ORS), to replace water and electrolytes. If this is not tolerated or does not provide improvement fast enough, intravenous fluids can also be used.
Antibacterial drugs are beneficial in those with severe disease to shorten its duration and severity. Worldwide, it affects 3–5 million people and causes 100,000–130,000 deaths a year as of 2010. Cholera was one of the earliest infections to be studied by epidemiological methods.
The risk for cholera is very low for people visiting areas with epidemic cholera. When simple precautions are observed, contracting the disease is unlikely.
What to do if you think that you or someone in your family has cholera
- If you have oral rehydration solution (ORS), start taking it now; it can save your life
- Go immediately to the nearest health facility. Continue to drink ORS at home and while you travel to get treatment
- Continue to breastfeed your baby if they have watery diarrhea, even when traveling to get treatment
For the prevention of cholera, all travelers who go to areas where cholera has occurred should observe the following recommendations:
- Drink only water that you have boiled, or that you have treated with chlorine or iodine. Other safe beverages include tea and coffee made with boiled water, and carbonated, bottled beverages with no ice.
- Wash hands before eating (* If no soap is available, scrub hands often with ash or sand and rinse with safe water.)
- Make sure that all vegetables are cooked, and avoid salads.
- Eat only foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot, or fruit that you have peeled yourself.
- Avoid undercooked or raw fish or shellfish, including ceviche (seafood marinated in lime or lemon juice).
- Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors.
- Keep the environs clean.