Cholera – Congo The Democratic Republic Of The
Six cholera cases have been reported among the displaced people in the city of Sake, about 26 kilometers north of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This occurred after the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano close to Sake on 22 May.
The patients are currently being treated on-site.
People had taken refuge in schools and churches in the region, following the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano. More than 180 000 were displaced.
Lack of water, toilets and other sanitary facilities are believed to have led to the outbreak of cholera cases.
Photo: Vibrio tasmaniensis bacteria, a close relative of Vibrio cholerae.
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.
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