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Water and Health

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7.05.2015 | Water borne diseases

Cholera and its effect on Human Health

Cholera and its effect on Human Health

Cholera is a serious diarrhoeal infection that affects both children and adults. There are 3 to 5 million cases of cholera, every year in the world. In the most severe cases, it can even cause death within a few hours. However, with safe drinking water and/or good sanitation facilities, the disease can be easily prevented and treated.

What is cholera?

Cholera is caused by consuming water or food that has been contaminated with types of a bacterium known as Vibriocholerae (types O1 or O139). The main symptom of this disease is severe watery diarrhoea, along with vomiting, that can lead to dehydration. Every year, 100,000 to 120,000 people die because of a cholera infection.

Despite the high numbers of cholera cases and deaths, about 75% of people who have an infection with this bacterium don’t develop any symptoms. And among those who do develop symptoms, 8 out of 10 will develop mild or moderate symptoms.

How does cholera spread?

Cholera is spread by the ‘faecal-oral’ route i.e. infected faecal matter from one individual contaminates either the food or water that is consumed by another individual/s.

When a person has a cholera infection, he/she will continue to excrete the bacteria, via faecal matter, for 1 – 2 weeks after the infection. This happens irrespective of whether the person shows or doesn’t show symptoms. If the area has poor sanitation, the faecal matter could potentially contaminate the water source or food source in the community. For this reason, cholera often results in an epidemic or pandemic where large numbers of people are affected.

How is cholera treated?

The most important aspect of cholera treatment is ‘hydration’ to compensate for the fluid lost due to diarrhoea and vomiting.

Oral rehydration salts are sufficient to treat most patients. 1 sachet or oral rehydration salts dissolved in 1 litre of safe drinking water.

In severe cases, intravenous fluids along with antibiotics may be given.

How is cholera prevented?

Prevention of cholera depends on the following factors:

  • Potable and safe drinking water from home water purifiers
  • Good sanitation facilities
  • Health education
  • Good food hygiene

How important is it to have access to safe drinking water?

Safe drinking water is one of the most important features to prevent cholera. Even while treating cholera, since oral rehydration salts (ORS) are to be dissolved in water, it’s of utmost importance to make sure the water is safe for drinking.

Also pay attention to the water that is used for the following purposes:

  • Washing of fruits and vegetables, especially if they are to be eaten raw
  • Preparing drinks and food
  • Washing of the vessels and dishes that are used to prepare/serve food and drinks
  • Making ice

Pureit is one of the most reliable source of drinking water. It offers a wide range of RO and UV water purifiers so that you and your loved ones always drink pure. No wonder, it is known as one of the best home water purifiers. Bring home a Pureit today for a healthier lifestyle tomorrow.

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