12 April 2011


An infection of the small intestine caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, resulting in profuse watery diarrhea.
Cholera Symptoms & Signs
Sudden onset of watery diarrhea, up to 1 liter (quart) per hour -
-- diarrhea has a "rice water" appearance, where the stool looks like water with flecks of rice in it
-- diarrhea has a "fishy" odor

Dehydration can occur rapidly -
-- rapid pulse (heart rate)
-- dry skin
-- dry mucus membranes or dry mouth
-- thirst, excessive
-- "glassy" eyes or sunken eyes
-- no tears
-- lethargy
-- unusual sleepiness or tiredness
-- low urine output
-- sunken "soft spots" (fontanelles) in infants

Abdominal cramps


Digestive System Organs
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factor
Cholera is an acute illness characterized by watery diarrhea. The toxin released by the bacteria causes increased secretion of water and chloride ions in the intestine, which can produce massive diarrhea. Death can result from the severe dehydration brought on by the diarrhea.
Cholera occurs in epidemics when conditions of poor sanitation, crowding, war, and famine are present. The infection is acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water.
A type of Vibrio bacteria also has been associated with shellfish, especially raw oysters. Risk factors include residence or travel in endemic areas and exposure to contaminated or untreated drinking water.
Cholera Diagnosis & Tests
> Gram stain and stool culture show cholera
> Blood culture may show cholera

Cholera Treatment
The objective of treatment is to replace fluid and electrolytes lost through diarrhea. Depending on the condition of the person, oral or intravenous fluid will be given. Tetracycline and other antibiotics may shorten the duration of the symptoms.
Note: Tetracycline is usually not prescribed for children until after all the permanent teeth have come in, because it can permanently discolor teeth that are still forming.

No comments:

Post a Comment