Between 1st January and 1st August 2021, there have been about 31,000 suspected cases of cholera in Nigeria. Source (reliefweb.int)
What is Cholera?
Cholera is an infectious bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera. If left untreated can be fatal, as it is often characterized by severe diarrhoea and dehydration. In Nigeria from 1 January to 1 August, there has been a consistent rise in the cases of cholera with about 31,000 suspected cases and 311 confirmed cases affecting 22 states including the FCT. These states are Benue, Delta, Zamfara, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kogi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Kebbi, Cross River, Niger, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Yobe, Kwara, Enugu, Adamawa, Katsina, Borno and FCT.
How Cholera Spreads
Cholera disease is spread through ingesting contaminated food and water. Open defecation, drinking water that is not boiled/safe and poor hygiene are major contributing factors that aid the spread of cholera.
What are the symptoms of cholera?
- Severe diarrhoea
- Leg cramps
Cholera disease makes the body lose plenty of fluid and this loss of fluid can cause several complications these includes;
- Dry mouth.
- Sunken eyes.
- Wrinkled skin.
- Low blood pressure.
- Electrolyte imbalance.
How is Cholera diagnosed?
A laboratory test on the stool sample of the patient is carried out to detect the presence of cholera bacteria.
How is Cholera treated?
Contact your health care provider if you experience cholera symptoms.
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Treatment of cholera includes;
- Intake of oral rehydration salts(ORS). This is a mixture of salt and sugar with water.
- Use of antibiotics like; Tetracycline, Azithromycin, Doxycycline
- Intravenous fluid rehydration therapy.
Complications of Cholera
Cholera can be fatal if left untreated due to severe loss of fluid and electrolytes which can lead to shock and eventual death.
How can Cholera be prevented?
Cholera is spread through contaminated food and water due to poor hygiene.
To prevent cholera;
- Keep a proper hygiene
- Ensure that food is thoroughly cooked before consumption.
- Drink only clean water.
- Wash hands regularly.