Cholera can kill you within hours if left untreated: how to recognise the symptoms and protect yourself

Cholera is a deadly disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, associated with poor sanitation and limited access to clean water. But it has also been found in seemingly clean places, including affluent neighbourhoods, hotels and restaurants with poor hygiene practices such as handling food with dirty hands and using contaminated water to wash utensils and prepare food.
contaminated water.

Article Page with Financial Support Promotionchemically treated water for drinking and food preparation, and avoid ice made from untreated water.and adults. These vaccines are valuable tools in cholera prevention, but they must be used with all the other preventive measures.</li> </ul> <h2>How can cholera be treated?</h2> <p>Timely and appropriate treatment of cholera is essential to prevent severe dehydration and fatalities. Treatment focuses on rehydration and supportive care:</p> <p><strong>Rehydration:</strong> The primary treatment for cholera is rapid rehydration using oral rehydration salts. This is a simple solution of sugar and salts that is mixed with clean water. It is highly effective in replacing lost fluids and electrolytes and can be administered at home or in a healthcare facility.</p> <p><strong>Intravenous fluids:</strong> In severe cases where dehydration is extreme, intravenous fluids may be necessary. This can quickly restore fluid levels and is vital for patients who cannot keep down oral fluids because they are vomiting.</p> <p><strong>Antibiotics:</strong> Rehydration is the cornerstone of cholera treatment, but antibiotics can reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. They are particularly useful in severe cases and for patients with a high risk of spreading the infection.</p> <p><strong>Zinc supplements:</strong> These supplements can reduce the duration and severity of diarrhoea, especially for children. Zinc is an essential mineral that supports immune function and gut health. The right dose should be prescribed by a medical practitioner.</p> <p>Cholera is preventable and treatable. Stay informed, take preventive measures, and contribute to a healthier, cholera-free world.</p> <p><em>Celestine Wairimu of the Centre for Microbiology Research contributed to this article.</em></p> <p><span>Samuel Kariuki, Chief Research Scientist and Director, Centre for Microbiology Research, <em>Kenya Medical Research Institute</em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 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