Cholera – Nepal
A cholera outbreak in western Nepal has infected 885 people.
Cholera is a disease spread by drinking water or eating food contaminated with cholera bacteria. Severe cholera is characterized by large amounts of watery diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The identified subtype was Vibrio Cholerae 01 Ogawa.
From the 885 infected people, 4 died at the beginning of the month. Of the three victims, 3 were children. Cholera is a reoccurring disease in Nepal and cases are detected every year.
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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