Cholera is caused by a comma-shaped bacteria known as Vibrio cholerae.There are many strains of this bacteria which are resistant to differient drugs.
Cholera is transmitted through the fecal-oral route.Ingestion of contaminated water or shellfish will result in cholera.Because of sea travels, the bacterium has spread throughout the world causing pandemics(world-wide epidemics).If a person's stomach has reduced acidity,a smaller amount of bacteria is needed to cause disease.
Following 1 to 2 days of incubation, the bacteria will attach itself to the epithelium cells of the intestines.There, it produces a powerful toxin.This toxin causes many of the symptoms associated with cholera.A part of the toxin will attach to cells, causing the cells to secrete large amounts of water and the mineral salts dissolved in it.Solid waste will be discharged by the patient in the early stages of the disesase.Later, due to the large amounts of water and mineral salts secreted from cells, watery stools are formed.Dehydration results from the continued secretion of water.Shock,acidiosis results causing death.
Treatment of cholera is effective,cheap and simple.Lost fluids and mineral salts are replaced in the patients.This is effective, particularly in thrid world countries where antibiotics are expensive.The antibiotic, tetracycline could be used to elimanate the bacteria from the intestinal tract of patients but not often needed.
Proper sanitation and water purification systems are essential in preventing cholera outbreaks.A vaccine is available but is not very effective.When travelling to endemic areas, travellers should bring along a supply of bottled water.Avoid eating raw seafood and uncooked vegetables and fruits.
comes from the Latin word "cholera", meaning bilious diarrhea, from the Greek,
"khole" meaning bile. It means diarrhea with discharge of watery liquid which
the ancients believed as bile.