Cholera

As you may already know, cholera outbreak has been reported in different parts of Nigeria including Adamawa State. Cholera, a food or waterborne bacterial disease, can be life-threatening if left untreated. As a community, we ought to take sufficient measures to protect ourselves.

Cholera causes severe diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and subsequent dehydration. Untreated dehydration and infection may cause shock and death within hours.

 

Symptoms

Diarrhea – diarrhea due to cholera often starts suddenly and can cause a significant fluid loss. It is indicated by watery stool that resembles rice water – pale and milky.

Nausea and vomiting

Dehydration – thirsty feeling

Muscle cramps

Untreated cholera cases may show altered consciousness and seizures.

 

Risk factors

Contaminated food

Contaminated water

 

Prevention

Avoid food from unclean and unknown sources.

Drink only boiled, dispenser, or bottled water.

Avoid locally made drinks – you never know state of the water used to prepare them.

Keep your environment clean

Avoid sharing plates and dress of cholera patients.

Avoid raw and undercooked fish, meat, and vegetables.

Wash vegetables and fruits multiple times with clean water before consumption.

Wash your hands after using the toilet and before and after eating.

 

Treatment

Report immediately to the Health Center or nearest hospital if you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

The main aim of treatment is to arrest the infection by using antibiotics.

Rehydration therapy with intravenous fluids.

Zinc supplements to reduce the duration of diarrhea.

Other supportive management

 

By Philip Eappen

Chief Administrator, AUN Health Center