LiveMD gives you the facts on Cholera
What is Cholera?
Cholera is a very serious bacterial infection that is contracted by drinking contaminated food or water. This infection can cause very severe diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and, if not treated promptly, can end in death. This disease is common in areas that do not have sufficient water treatment procedures in place and affects close to 5 million people worldwide every year.
What are the Symptoms of Cholera?
The symptoms of cholera can begin quite quickly after being infected with the bacteria. Some people will experience symptoms only hours after infection. Others may not have any symptoms at all. The first signs of cholera are usually severe, watery diarrhea. This diarrhea can lead to extreme dehydration if not treated. It can also cause loss of skin elasticity, nausea, headaches, extreme thirst and a fast heartbeat.
The very first course of treatment for someone that has been infected with cholera is to quickly rehydrate them. Fluids and electrolytes should be replaced immediately. In severe cases this will be done intravenously and in more mild cases should be done by drinking plenty of fluids such as water, juices and electrolyte solutions. A doctor will then prescribe an antibiotic to help fight off the infection. Severe cases that are left untreated can quickly lead to death in just under a day.
How Can I Prevent Infection?
Cholera is spread by consuming food or water that has been contaminated with the Vibrio Cholerae bacteria. This bacteria lives in human feces and is spread to food and water sources through poor sanitation and filtration systems.To protect yourself from becoming infected it is important to only drink water that has been boiled or has been properly filtered and treated. Avoid having drinks with ice cubes in them and stay away from unpasteurized milk. Also, it is important to make sure that all meats are cooked thoroughly and are still hot when eaten. There are oral vaccines that can be taken prior to travelling to an area where cholera is common and a course of these vaccines should be started at least 2 weeks prior to travelling.
Getting the advice of a doctor quickly is very important if a cholera infection is suspected. Obtaining fast and reliable information and treatment may mean the difference between life and death. At LiveMD we pride ourselves on having a team of highly qualified healthcare professionals available to help you, with only the click of a mouse. By visiting www.mylivemd.com you can talk, chat or speak via live video with a doctor right away and get the care and treatement advice that you need immediately, without the hassel that a usual trip to the doctors would bring. Don’t wait until it is too late, speak with one of our doctors today.
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