The “blue death”

Hey guys !welcome to my very first 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 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    



Patient with severe dehydration due to cholelera                                                                                                                                                                Mode of transmission                                                              It is spread mostly by ingestion  food and water that have been contaminated  with human faeces containing the bacteria.(fecal – oral transmission)                         insufficiently cooked seafood is also a common source

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 disposalc360_2016-09-25-15-54-51-008

    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
  • Antibiotics
  • Zinc supplements

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