Cholera – Congo The Democratic Republic Of The

35 cases of cholera have been reported in North Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Due to a volcanic eruption, last month maybe fled the capital Goma and are now lacking clean drinking water leading to infections.

35 infected, 18 cases reported between Sunday and Monday.

NGOs that are helping with displaced peoples are pleading for more clean drinking water to prevent an outbreak.

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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