Topics: Cholera, Dehydration, Vibrio cholerae Pages: 3 (1104 words) Published: February 28, 2013
In this essay I will be explaining the characteristics of cholera, what kind of disease it is and how it affects the body, how it spreads, the symptoms and how they are caused, treatment and prevention. Cholera is a communicable, bacterial disease caused by a bacterium called Vibrio Cholerae, of which there are 16 strains. [1] It is a highly contagious disease which is easily spread from human to human. It is common in third world countries where sanitation is poor and natural disasters are frequent. It is also a notifiable disease in the UK due to the nature of the condition. [2] Cholera is very easily transmitted through contaminated water supplies and is most common after natural disasters which include flooding, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes. Monsoon seasons also promote a rise in the number of cholera incidents around the world. Due to the fact that flood waters contain sewage and other substances that can easily spread the infection, it can spread very rapidly in areas where sanitation is poor. It is rare that cholera should ever be spread from person to person, but in some unusual cases, cholera can spread through contaminated food, particularly poorly cooked seafood. Crabs clams and oysters siphon large amounts of water- this concentrates the cholera bacteria in these creatures and will spread readily to humans if not cooked properly before consumption.[3] It is estimated that there are 3–5 million cholera cases and 100 000–120 000 deaths due to cholera every year. [4] The disease works by releasing enterotoxins which affect the channels in the cell membranes of cells in the small intestine, causing them to open. This means that water leaves the cells and moves from the blood, across the thin permeable membrane of the small intestine and into the main section of the small intestine, and cannot be reabsorbed. [5] This increase in water causes the body to have severe diarrhoea, which means that the body quickly dehydrates. However, many...
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