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Cholera

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Cholera is an acute, diarrhoeal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
A person may get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the cholera bacterium. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water. The cholera bacterium may also live in the environment in brackish rivers and coastal waters.

Approximately 1 in 20 infected people has severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhoea, vomiting and leg cramps. In these people rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shoal. Without treatment death can occur within hours.

Cholera cases and deaths were officially reported by WHO, in the year 2000, from 27 countries in Africa, 9 countries in Latin America, 13 countries in Asia, 2 countries in Europe, and 4 countries in Oceania. In the same year some 140,000 cases resulting in approximately 5000 deaths were officially notified at WHO. Africa accounted for 87% of these cases.

Click here to learn for more information about waterborne diseases, dimension of the problem, transmission, prevention.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera
http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/cholera/en/
Picture:
http://www.mwra.state.ma.us/germs/cholera.htm

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