Luckily, nowadays Cholera is not a problem anymore in modern and civilized countries. This bacterial disease that spreads via contaminated water leads to immediate dehydration and can be fatal in only a few hours, even for individuals that where perfectly healthy before infection. Cholera can be easily treated and the dangers brought by dehydration and diarrhea can be removed by simple dehydration techniques. This article teaches you how to cope with the dangers of Cholera in case you travel in countries that still struggle with this disease.
Cholera is nowadays present only in underdeveloped countries where people live in crowded area without proper sanitation. These places are found in some parts of Africa, Latin America and south Asia. Cases in the US and other developed countries are extremely rare and mostly imported from the above mentioned regions by travelers. It’s extremly rare for Cholera outbursts to occur because of imported infected seafood.
The bacterium Vibrio cholerae is responsible for causing Cholera. For the infection to succeed large amounts of bacteria is needed to reach the victims stomach. Once it does it produces a toxin in the sufferers stomach that causes watery diarrhea and leads to massive fluid loss. If patient is not re-hydrated properly danger under the form of severe dehydration lurks ahead. With a fluid loss rate of 1 liter per hour, Cholera can be fatal in less than a day if immediate action is not taken.
Symptoms occur between a few hours and a few days after infection. Watery diarrhea doubled by vomiting lead to accelerated dehydration. Sever dehydration is present when:
– low blood pressure and accelerated heart rate
– accentuated sensation of thirst
– loss of skin elasticity
– muscle cramps
– dry lids
Mild cases usually go away from their own if proper hydration is applied. Sever ones need to be treated at the hospital. Patients are urgently recovering their fluids with the help of a drip. Cholera is cured faster if antibiotics are administrated. Doxycyline would be a good fit.
Hydration Fluid Recipe for Travelers
If you’re traveling are hit by Cholera and can’t reach a doctor to soon, use this recipe for preparing and efficient hydration fluid that will save your life:
– use 1 liter of non-contaminated water
– mix half a teaspoon of salt
– add 4 chockfull teaspoons of sugar
If you wish to improve taste add the fresh squeezed juice from a lemon or orange. Remember that severe Cholera leads to 1 liter of fluid loss per hour! So, drink large amount of fluid to compensate.
Cholera Infection Prevention
If you travel in poor and underdeveloped countries drink only boiled, bottled or chemically disinfected water. Also use this uncontaminated water for washing fruits and vegetables, washing your teeth and entire body, washing dishes and even for making ice, because the Vibrio cholerae isn’t killed by freezing temperatures. It remains dormant.
One other prevention option could be the vaccine against Cholera. But it’s not too efficient as it’s protection rate averages at around 50% according to the World Health Organisation.