Cholera: Symptoms, Causes,Transmission & Control

What is Cholera? Cholera Symptoms

Cholera Symptoms: Cholera is an acute infection of alimentary canal, characterized by sudden and heavy onset of watery diarrhoea, severe vomiting and cramps in legs. Great thirst, suppression of urine and severe dehydration follow and as a result of which the patient may collapse.

Cholera Causes organism: In 1884, Robert Koch first isolated a bacterial species, named Vibrio cholerae from the excreta of a diseased person. Later it was proved that this type of bacteria are responsible for cholera. These bacteria are rod shaped and may be curved like ‘coma’ and therefore are also called
fe Vibrio comma. There is yet another species of bacteria called Vibrio elter which is also responsible for cholera. Cholera bacteria can reproduce at a very fast rate in the polluted water, decaying organic matter and in human intestine. They secrete a kind of enzyme called neuram-inidase which dissolves the intercellular substances separating one cell from the other and there by causing the intestinal wall to disintegrate. The bacteria also produce toxic substances which upset the water balance of the cells causing dehydration. The cholera bacteria can withstand the effect of gastric acid and therefore they can establish themselves quickly within the digestive tract.

Cholera Transmission: The disease can spread in several ways viz.

(1) through food, water, milk infected by the cholera bacteria;

(2) carelessness of the person attending a cholera patient;

(3) from clothes, and linen soiled with discharge of the infected person;

(4) through flies;

(5) through eating of fishes caught from water polluted by cholera bacteria;

(6) through carrier person (such person is not himself affected).

Cholera Control: (1) The case should be immediately brought to the notice of the public health authority.

(2) The patient should be isolated immediately.

(3) All dejecta should be received in a basin containing strong disinfectants and should be burried or burnt.

(4) Disinfectant should be spread in the whole room where the patient was kept.

(5) Anti-fly measures should be taken.

(6) Clothes and linen soiled by the patient should be burnt or burried.

(7) Person attending the patient should maintain all precautions so that he himself is not affected.

(8) All items used in the patient’s room must be boiled or steam sterilized before reuse.

(9) Neighbours should be alerted and that all persons in and around the locality should use boiling water and should maintain personal hygine

(10) If necessary unaffected person of the locality should be immunized against cholera.

The following measures should be taken specially when large number of people gather during festivals and fairs :
1. Protection of water supply.
2. Special and hygienic kitchen arrangement.
3. Special bathing place.
4. Proper disposal of night soil.

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