Cholera – Malaysia
The Selangor health department has issued a statewide cholera alert after one case of cholera was detected in the Petaling district.
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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