Hey guys !welcome to my very first post.so with the recent outbreak of cholera in lagos which has killed 6 people with 39 still under observation.I believe it’s a matter of urgency for us to be formed about this killer and how to spot it and prevent further casualties.I will try to make this as simple as possible.
So cholera , also known as the”blue death” is a diarrhoeal disease caused by infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium vibro cholerae.It’s extremely virulent,affect all age groups (with children between 2 -4 years having the highest rates of infection )and can kill within hours.
SYMPTOMS The patients usually present with- profuse diarhoea and vomiting of clear fluid which starts suddenly between 2 hours to 5 days after after ingestion of the bacterium.the diarrhoea is described as rice water in nature and may have a fishy odour.it can present in varying degrees of severity but the most severe cases can produce up to 10-20 litres of diarrhoea which may lead to life threatening dehydration and electrolyte. SIGNS lethargy,sunken eyes,dry mouth,cold clammy skin,decreased skin tugor,wrinkled hands and feet all because of the resulting dehydration
Riskfactors-poor sanitation, not enough clean drinking water and poverty
- Simple hand washing with soap and water after visiting the toilets and before handling food or eating and also after caring for infected persons
- Remove and wash any bedding or clothing that may have had contact with diarrhoea stool
- Patients with cholera should not swim while ill or for two weeks after resolution of symptoms
- Water purification all water for drinking,cooking,washing should be treated in places were this is not readily available make sure such water is filtered and boiled before consumption.
- Cook food thoroughly and under hygienic conditions before consumption
- Proper sewage disposal
Typical “rice water” diarrhoea Treatment
- Fluid! Fluid! Fluid!this is the single most important part of the treatment most cases can be treated with oral rehydration therapy but in severe cases intravenous rehydration may be required. ringers lactate is the preffered solution often with added potassium. If a household member develops acute watery diarrhoeal administer ORS and seek health care “immediately”.In the absence of ORS you can add I teaspoon of salt and 6 teaspoon of sugar to 1 litre of water and add mashed banana for potassium and to improve taste.and seek health care immediately.
- Electrolytes as there is frequently initial acidosis the potassium level may be normal,as dehydration is being corrected potassium levels may decrease rapidly and for replacement consumption of food rich in potassium like banana
- Zinc supplements