Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe.

According to Reuters: Cholera has killed nearly 2,800 people in neighboring Zimbabwe and infected more than 40,000 since it broke out last August. It has since spread to South Africa where it has killed 36 people out of the 5,696 infected from November 15 to January 24.

Here's some info about cholera:

- An infected person experiences severe vomiting, explosive diarrhea and severe dehydration.
- Malnutrition and cholera are interconnected. Cholera is more likely to flourish in places where malnutrition is common, such as refugee camps, impoverished countries, and areas devastated by famine, war or natural disasters.
- It's also caused by reduced or nonexistent stomach acid (hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria).
- Without immediate medical treatment, cholera may result in death within four to twelve hours after symptoms begin

- It's very contagious. It is spread by the unintentional consumption of infected feces that contaminate food and water. It can also be spread through human to human contact. Some people have been infected with cholera by eating raw or undercooked shellfish.It can also be spread through human to human contact.

- Cholera is easily treated with fluids and antibiotics

South Africa has set up a health committee to combat the epidemic, with volunteers to help treat those who suffer from the disease. But with so many people and such few resources, you have to wonder how many more will have to suffer. Smh.

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