Essay Cholera Disease Research Report

2225 Words9 Pages
Karla Obasi
HEA 341
Disease Research Report
December 9, 2010
CHOLERA
Disease Defined Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that causes a large amount of watery diarrhea. Cholera is a bacterial disease (caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae) usually spread through contaminated water. The bacteria, which are found in fecal-contaminated food and water and in raw or undercooked seafood, produce a toxin that affects the intestines causing diarrhea, vomiting, and severe fluid and electrolyte loss. This overwhelming dehydration is the outstanding characteristic of the disease and is the main cause of death. Cholera has a short incubation period (two or three days) and runs a quick course. In untreated cases the death rate is
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In this setting, the disease occurs primarily in young children, who are exposed to the organism for the first time, and in the elderly, who have lower gastric acid production and waning immunity. The poor are at greatest risk because they often lack safe water supplies, are unable to maintain proper hygiene within the home, and may depend on street vendors or other unregulated sources for food and drink. Recent epidemiologic research suggests that an individual's susceptibility to cholera (and other diarrheal infections) is affected by their blood type: those with type O blood are the most susceptible, while those with type AB are the most resistant. Between these two extremes are the A and B blood types, with type A being more resistant than type B.

Signs and Symptoms * Dry mucus membranes or mouth * Dry skin * Excessive thirst * Glassy or sunken eyes * Lack of tears * Lethargy * Low urine output * Nausea * Rapid dehydration * Abdominal cramps * Watery diarrhea * Rapid pulse * Vomiting
The usual incubation period is 2 to 5 days, although it can be as short as several hours. Severe cholera is characterized by a sudden onset of profuse, watery diarrhea accompanied by nausea and vomiting. If left untreated, this can rapidly lead to serious dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and circulatory collapse. Over 50% of the most severe cases die within a few hours; with prompt, effective treatment,
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