Cholera is a disease that most of us have come across at some point, if not in real life, then probably in movies or literature. Cholera has shaped our collective consciousness as a population, because of the huge impact it has had on human history. Cholera pandemics in the early 19th century are estimated to have claimed up to tens of millions of lives.
Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a comma-shaped bacterium В– Vibrio Cholerae. This bacterium causes acute diarrhea and an intestinal infection through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Cholera is derived from the Greek word Khole meaning В‘flow of bile.В’ In Latin, the word Cholera means В‘bilious diarrhea.В’
Cholera is most common in children below five years but is
not limited to this age group only. In endemic areas, cholera can affect all age groups and can even lead to death. The Vibrio cholerae bacterium enters the digestive and intestinal system through food and water. Within five days of eating or drinking this contaminated food or water, the person will develop painless but copious watery diarrhea. In some cases, the diarrhea is so severe that it cause acute dehydration and requires immediate hospitalization and medical attention.
Symptoms of Cholera
Within one to five days of ingesting the cholera bacterium, a person will develop symptoms that range from mild to severe. Cholera is a potentially life threatening disease and requires awareness and early recognition of the symptoms so as to avoid complications and fatalities.