Cholera


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The cholera bacterium and toxin

Each year, cholera infects 1.


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Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. The bacteria typically live in waters that are somewhat salty and warm, such as estuaries and waters along coastal areas. People contract V. These strains produce the cholera toxin that cause cells lining the intestines to release increased amounts of water, leading to diarrhea and rapid loss of fluids and electrolytes salts.

And of the people who do develop cholera, 20 percent come down with severe symptoms, which includes severe diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps.

Vibrio cholerae (Cholera)

People who contract non or non V. Today, cholera is treated through fluid replacement and antibiotics. Early texts from India by Sushruta Samhita in the 5th century B.

What happens in an MSF cholera treatment centre?

One of the first detailed accounts of a cholera epidemic comes from Gaspar Correa—Portuguese historian and author of Legendary India—who described an outbreak in the spring of of a disease in the Ganges Delta, which is located in the south Asia area of Bangladesh and India. Numerous reports of cholera manifestations along the West coast of India by Portuguese, Dutch, French and British observers followed throughout the next few centuries. The disease quickly spread throughout most of India, modern-day Myanmar, and modern-day Sri Lanka by traveling along trade routes established by Europeans.

By , cholera had spread to Thailand, Indonesia killing , people on the island of Java alone and the Philippines. From Thailand and Indonesia, the disease made its way to China in and Japan in by way of infected people on ships. It also spread beyond Asia. The disease eventually made its way to European territory, reaching modern-day Turkey, Syria and Southern Russia.

The pandemic died out 6 years after it began, likely thanks to a severe winter in —, which may have killed the bacteria living in water supplies. Like the one that came before it, the second pandemic is thought to have originated in India and spread along trade and military routes to Eastern and Central Asia and the Middle East. By autumn of , cholera had made it to Moscow. The spread of the disease temporarily slowed during the winter, but picked up again in spring of , reaching Finland and Poland.

Cholera Fast Facts

It then passed into Hungary and Germany. The disease subsequently spread throughout Europe, including reaching Great Britain for the first time via the port of Sunderland in late and London in spring of Britain enacted several actions to help curb the spread of the disease, including implementing quarantines and establishing local boards of health. But the public became gripped with widespread fear of the disease and distrust of authority figures, most of all doctors. In , cholera had also made it to the Americas.

In June of that year, Quebec saw 1, deaths from the disease, which quickly spread along the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries. Around the same time, cholera imported into the United States, appearing in New York and Philadelphia. Over the next couple of years, it would spread across the country. It reached Latin America, including Mexico and Cuba, in The pandemic would die out and reemerge throughout numerous countries for nearly two decades until it subsided around The third pandemic, stretching —, was the deadliest.

Read through case studies where we openly examine and analyse all our actions and decision-making processes during humanitarian emergencies that have led us to speak out. This logistical and supply centre in Brussels provides storage of and delivers medical equipment, logistics and drugs for international purchases for MSF missions. This supply and logistics centre in Bordeaux, France, provides warehousing and delivery of medical equipment, logistics and drugs for international purchases for MSF missions.

This logistical centre in Amsterdam purchases, tests, and stores equipment including vehicles, communications material, power supplies, water-processing facilities and nutritional supplements. This medical unit is based in Cape Town, South Africa. BRAMU specialises in neglected tropical diseases, such as dengue and Chagas, and other infectious diseases.

Cholera (for Teens) - KidsHealth

This medical unit is based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Find important research based on our field experience on our dedicated Field Research website. Providing epidemiological expertise to underpin our operations, conducting research and training to support our goal of providing medical aid in areas where people are affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or excluded from health care.

Evaluation Units have been established in Vienna, Stockholm, and Paris, assessing the potential and limitations of medical humanitarian action, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of our medical humanitarian work. The Luxembourg Operational Research LuxOR unit coordinates field research projects and operational research training, and provides support for documentation activities and routine data collection.

The Intersectional Benchmarking Unit collects and analyses data about local labour markets in all locations where MSF employs people. This Guide explains the terms, concepts, and rules of humanitarian law in accessible and reader-friendly alphabetical entries. The MSF Paediatric Days is an event for paediatric field staff, policy makers and academia to exchange ideas, align efforts, inspire and share frontline research to advance urgent paediatric issues of direct concern for the humanitarian field.

The MSF Foundation aims to create a fertile arena for logistics and medical knowledge-sharing to meet the needs of MSF and the humanitarian sector as a whole. Caused by a water-borne bacterial infection, cholera is transmitted through contaminated food or water, or through contact with fecal matter or vomit from infected people. A patient can lose up to 25 litres of fluid per day. Cholera can cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting, and rapidly prove fatal, within hours, if not treated. But cholera is very simple to treat — most patients respond well to oral rehydration salts, which are easy to administer.

In more serious cases, intravenous fluids are required.

Ultimately, no-one should die of cholera - yet well over , do each year. Outbreaks can rapidly spread in over-crowded communities and in dense living conditions when there is inadequate access to clean water, waste collection, and proper toilets. Because of population displacement, destruction of infrastructure, or a lack of public services, cholera is a serious risk in the aftermath of a natural disaster or during a conflict.

In addition, CDC provides information on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cholera to public health officials and educates the public about effective preventive measures. The U. Agency for International Development sponsors some of the international U. The Food and Drug Administration tests imported and domestic shellfish for V. With cooperation at the state and local, national, and international levels, assistance will be provided to countries where cholera is present.

The risk to U. Cholera - Vibrio cholerae infection. Section Navigation. General Information Minus Related Pages. Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions about cholera. Frequently Asked Questions What is cholera?


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Where is cholera found? How does a person get cholera? What are the symptoms of cholera? How long after infection do the symptoms appear? Who is most likely to get cholera? What should I do if I think a family member or I have cholera? How is cholera diagnosed? What is the treatment for cholera?

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Cholera - including symptoms, treatment and prevention

Should I be worried about getting cholera from others? How can I avoid getting cholera? Is a vaccine available to prevent cholera? For more information, please visit the Vaccines page.

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