Cholera – Yemen
Yemen is fighting a cholera outbreak in the south eastern province of Hadramout. At lease 250 cases have been confirmed. A vaccination campaign is underway, targeting 40 000 people in rural and urban regions. Hundreds of posters and leaflets were distributed, and trucks roamed around, broadcasting messages about the campaign’s significance.
Prevention is by observing good hygiene, especially when preparing food.
Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The main risk is severe dehydration, this happens sometimes within hours.
It is spread mostly by unsafe water and unsafe food that has been contaminated with human feces containing the bacteria. Under-cooked seafood is a common source.
Risk factors for the disease include poor sanitation, not enough clean drinking water, and poverty.
Cholera affects an estimated 3–5 million people worldwide and causes 28.800–130.000 deaths a year. Areas with ongoing risk include Africa and South East Asia, where it occurs in outbreaks.
Descriptions of cholera are found as early as the 5th century BC in Sanskrit.
Photo: Vibrio tasmaniensis bacteria, a close relative of Vibrio cholerae.
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