Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated in time. It is caused by consuming contaminated food or liquids with a bacterium called vibrio cholera.

Vibrio cholera is the bacterium that causes cholera which is usually found in food and water contaminated by feces from a person with the infection. When a person consumes the contaminated food or water, the bacteria release a toxin in the intestines that produces severe diarrhea.  It is not likely you will catch cholera just from casual contacts with an infected person.

The primary symptoms are profuse diarrhea and vomiting of clear fluid. These symptoms of cholera usually start suddenly, half a day to five days ingestion of the bacteria. Some other symptoms are high fever, weight loss, excessive thirst, etc. Cholera can be treated by immediate replacement of the fluid and salts lost through diarrhea in our body. We can prevent cholera by washing our hands often with soap and clean water, especially before we eat or prepare food and after using the bathroom. We can be prevented from cholera by eating foods that are packaged or that are freshly cooked or served hot and by not eating stale and foods contaminated by flies, etc. We should drink treated and boiled water only.

There is a vaccine for cholera. Both CDC and the WHO have specific guidelines for who should be given this vaccine. Providing cholera vaccine as per guidelines is a way of preventing from cholera. Also, we should join our hands to keep the environment clean to be prevented form cholera.

Nishtha Thapa Magar   (Class-7)

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