Real-Life Lessons About Cholera - A forgotten Pandemic

Extremely rare: Fewer than 5 thousand cases per year (India). Treatable by a medical professional. Spreads through contaminated food or water. Requires a medical diagnosis, Lab tests, or imaging always required. Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Critical: needs emergency care. HOW IT SPREADS: Through contaminated food or water. What was the longest-running pandemic in history?

A bacterial disease causing severe diarrhoea and dehydration usually spread in water. Cholera is fatal if not treated right away. Key symptoms are diarrhoea and dehydration. Rarely, shock and seizures may occur in severe cases. Treatment includes rehydration, IV fluids, and antibiotics.

Symptoms: Requires a medical diagnosis. Key symptoms are diarrhoea and dehydration. Rarely, shock and seizures may occur in severe cases. People may experience Pain areas: in the abdomen Gastrointestinal: nausea, severe diarrhoea, vomiting, or watery diarrhoea Whole body: dehydration, lethargy, or water-electrolyte imbalance.

Does cholera still exist?

Left untreated, cholera can be fatal within hours, even in previously healthy people. Modern sewage and water treatment have virtually eliminated cholera in industrialized countries. But cholera still exists in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Haiti.

What caused cholera?

Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholerae bacteria. People can get sick when they swallow food or water contaminated with cholera bacteria. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.

When was the last cholera outbreak?

The last outbreak of cholera in the United States was in 1910–1911, when the steamship Moltke brought infected people from Naples to New York City. Vigilant health authorities isolated the infected in quarantine on Swinburne Island. Eleven people died, including a health care worker at the hospital on the island.

How can Cholera be cured?

Oral or intravenous hydration is the primary treatment for cholera. In conjunction with hydration, treatment with antibiotics is recommended for severely ill patients. It is also recommended for patients who have severe or some dehydration and continue to pass a large volume of stool during rehydration treatment.

Does boiling water kill cholera bacteria?

MINTZ: Well, boiling water is a very effective way to disinfect the water. And it will not only kill Vibrio cholerae, the bacteria that causes cholera, but it's the right way to make sure your water is free of any pathogen, any living organism that could cause infection or illness.

How quickly does cholera kill?

Cholera is an extremely virulent disease that can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea. It takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water (2). Cholera affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated.

Who found the cure for cholera?

British doctor John Snow couldn't convince other doctors and scientists that cholera, a deadly disease, was spread when people drank contaminated water until a mother washed her baby's diaper in a town well in 1854 and touched off an epidemic that killed 616 people.

How was cholera stopped?

In the United States, cholera was prevalent in the 1800s but has been virtually eliminated by modern sewage and water treatment systems. However, as a result of improved transportation, more persons from the United States travel to parts of Latin America, Africa, or Asia where epidemic cholera is occurring.

Is there any vaccine for cholera?

The FDA recently approved a single-dose live oral cholera vaccine called Vaxchora® (lyophilized CVD 103-HgR) in the United States. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to approve the vaccine for adults 18 – 64 years old who are traveling to an area of active cholera transmission.

What was the longest-running pandemic in history?

cholera: While all of us are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, it's easy to forget about the world's longest-running pandemic—cholera. Over the last 200 years the deadly diarrheal disease, which thrives in areas without safe water and sanitation, has killed millions of people.

Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholera. Symptoms may range from none to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet. Dehydration can cause the skin to turn bluish. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure. Cholera is caused by a number of types of Vibrio cholerae, with some types producing more severe diseases than others. It is spread mostly by unsafe water and unsafe food that has been contaminated with human feces containing the bacteria.

Undercooked seafood is a common source. Humans are the only animal affected. Risk factors for the disease include poor sanitation, not enough clean drinking water, and poverty. There are concerns that rising sea levels will increase rates of disease. Cholera can be diagnosed by a stool test. A rapid dipstick test is available but is not as accurate.

Prevention methods against cholera include improved sanitation and access to clean water. Cholera vaccines that are given by mouth provide reasonable protection for about six months.

They have the added benefit of protecting against another type of diarrhea caused by E. coli. The primary treatment is oral rehydration therapy—the replacement of fluids with slightly sweet and salty solutions. Rice-based solutions are preferred. Zinc supplementation is useful in children. In severe cases, intravenous fluids, such as Ringer's lactate, may be required, and antibiotics may be beneficial.

Testing to see which antibiotic the cholera is susceptible to can help guide the choice. Cholera affects an estimated 3–5 million people worldwide and causes 28,800–130,000 deaths a year. Although it is classified as a pandemic as of 2010, it is rare in high-income countries. Children are mostly affected.

Cholera occurs as both outbreaks and chronic in certain areas. Areas with an ongoing risk of disease include Africa and Southeast Asia. The risk of death among those affected is usually less than 5% but maybe as high as 50%.

No access to treatment results in a higher death rate. Descriptions of cholera are found as early as the 5th century BC in Sanskrit. The study of cholera in England by John Snow between 1849 and 1854 led to significant advances in the field of epidemiology. Seven large outbreaks have occurred over the last 200 years with millions of deaths.