Cholera – India

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66 cases of cholera in the Abheypur and Buddanpur villages of India. 47 of the patients are children. Many villages punctured pipes to draw water illegally which may the possible cause of the infections.

Chlorine, ORS, and medication is being distributed to affected homes. Water is also being supplied through tankers as the pipes are being repaired by the public health engineering department. Those who are discharged from the hospital are under supervision.

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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