Cholera is a disease that causes diarrhea and vomiting effect, caused by a bacterium Vibrio Cholerae. This bacterium enters human body through contaminated drinking water or food, affecting the intestines through which it enters the blood stream. It produces toxics that forces water to exude from the blood in large amounts. This water is excreted as diarrhea and vomiting. Different human populations are affected by cholera infections at differently. The rate of infection depends on individual’s blood group.
Blood group O is adversely affected followed by B, and A respectively with AB being the most resistant of them all. All patients who show the signs should be tested and administered with the necessary treatment. According to statistics, most parts of the world are attacked by the disease seasonally. For example, by early 2009 the Sub Saharan region had recorded over 128,500 cholera infections while over 4,000 patients died. In Iraq, about 22 deaths were recorded with 4,569 patients reported positive in 2007 when there was water shortage coupled with the infection outbreak.
Vietnam reported 2,490 patients in 2008. The usual signs include excessive diarrhea and vomiting which results in abdominal pain and dehydration. Most of the signs show within the less than five days after the infection. Cholera is diagnosed through the usual laboratory test procedures after taking stool sample. The most useful indicator is the series of signs after infection occurs. This makes it easier for treatment to start before the lab test results are out. The recovery time depends on the time taken before administration of treatment and treatment method.
Extreme cases of dehydration may often die due to irreversible effect of water loss in the body. Prevention is better than cure. Protection against cholera is through keeping proper sanitation, clean and safe drinking water as well as clean cooking environment. More so, sterilization and proper waste disposal from infected patient is important. Sewage treatment is also paramount, (Baldwin, 1999). Warning information should also be issued to the public for better prevention especially if an outbreak is sensed. Vaccines are available which can be used to denature or kill various strains of Vibrio cholerae.
The most effective treatment method is the “Oral Rehydration Therapy, ORT,” which effectively and safely replace dehydrated water from the patient’s body quickly. Homemade solutions like sugar, fruit juice and table salts may be used. In case the patients has severe problem they may be subjected to intravenous rehydration procedures. Cholera pandemic results from biological attack by “Vibrio cholerae O1” and was first recorded in 1817-1923. Vibrio cholerae originates from the classical biotype: serogroup strains.
Cholera had earlier been reported to result from El Tor Biotype. The 7th pandemic tests showed some correlation between the 0139 serogroup and El Tor strains related to cholera. 7 cholera pandemics are already recorded. According to research cholera pandemics 1-6 were caused by an attack by “classical biotype of Vibrio Cholerae”. Vibrio Cholerae has been studied over time due to it different strains that cause cholera at diverse regions. Researchers developed the need to understand the seventh pandemic El Tor and O139 evolution, (Dziejman, 2001).
The hypothesis was “the O139 strains evolved from the 7th pandemic El Tor isolates (3, 13). ” Research data established supported the hypothesis. According the research it is proven that nonpathogenic El and strains of classical biotype, closely related to El Tor, originate from other lineage. Thus the 7th cholera pandemic was caused by the El Tor type of Vibro Cholerae and not the classical strains. This information is vital for generation of necessary treatment. The information also gives insight to further research towards the control of reoccurrence of such pandemics.
My choice of this microbiology article was driven by the desire to know how Cholera affects humans and its cause. The text was very interesting and informative. In fact I would recommend all the microbiology scholars to read it. References Dziejman M. , et. al. (December 13, 2001). Comparative genomic analysis of Vibrio cholerae: Genes that correlate with cholera endemic and pandemic disease. Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, MA: Harvard Medical School, Boston. Baldwin, P. (1999). Contagion and the State in Europe, 1830-1930. New York: Cambridge University Press.