Cholera – Causes and Symptoms of Cholera

Cholera is a word derived from Greek term “Khole” which means “flow of bile”. The Latin meaning for this term is “bilious diarrhoea”. Cholera is an acute infection of the intestines that is caused by the consumption of contaminated food and water. This is caused by comma-shaped bacteria called the Vibrio Cholerae. This is the most serious epidemic that every body fears because of its severity. This disease is characterized by severe diarrhoea and is most commonly seen among the age group of 1 to 5 years. In some of the endemic areas, it’s distributed among all age-groups.

Causes of Cholera
The common cause of cholera is as follows:

  • This is caused by a bacterium called “Vibrio Cholerae”
  • Exposure to the bacteria due to poor personal hygiene
  • Due to the deficiency or absence of hydrochloric acid, can result in cholera
  • Eating undercooked and raw meat

During or after a disaster, there is a danger of getting cholera due to the contaminated food and water supplies. This disease can spread by an infected person who is using dirty water sources for cleaning and disposal of wastes.

Symptoms of Cholera
The signs and symptoms of cholera begin within the third day of the infection. This can range from mild to severe diarrhoea that can be potentially fatal. Some of the signs and symptoms include:

  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Tiredness
  • Sunken eyes
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low urine output
  • Leg Cramps
  • Excessive thirst
  • Dry skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Stools that smell fishy
  • Dehydration

When to consult your Doctor
When you find the above signs and symptoms, consult your doctor immediately because if a person has severe infection, then there can be a rapid loss of body fluids. This leads to dehydration and shock. If treatment is not given immediately, then death also can occur.

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