Cholera | Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Home Remedies

What is Cholera ?

Cholera is an infectious disease. In this disease there are problems like vomiting, diarrhea, fast heart rate, thirst, dryness of the skin etc. It is caused by a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. According to experts, cholera is spread by consuming food and water containing Vibrio cholerae bacteria. It can be transmitted from person to person through dirty hands and fingernails. This infectious disease can cause severe diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if not treated on time.

In severe cases, it is necessary to get it treated immediately as in these cases death can also occur within a few hours. Cholera is a very rare disease in developed countries, but you can become a victim if you travel to a country that does not have proper water and sewage facilities. Cholera is not a disease whose treatment is very difficult or the patient recovers with difficulty. In this, most people recover quickly by consuming the right oral fluids. Although its treatment was not possible in the past, but in modern times, cholera is being successfully treated. Along with this, using the things present in the house, you can remove cholera.

The risk of cholera is highest where hygiene is not taken care of. It can spread as an epidemic in areas of overcrowding, famine and floods. There are no symptoms of cholera in 80 percent of the patients and in many cases the disease gets cured on its own. Despite this, the patient can spread the bacteria. The remaining 20 percent may have severe diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramps. Other symptoms include increased heart rate, increased thirst, low blood pressure, reduced elasticity of the skin, etc.

Symptoms of Cholera

In most cases of cholera, it is not even known that you have been a victim of this disease. Cholera bacteria are released from the stool for seven to fourteen days after coming into contact with this infection. One in ten people who are infected begin to have common symptoms two or three days after infection. These symptoms are as follows :

  • Sudden diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Frequent vomiting and diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry mucous membranes inside the throat, mouth, eyelids
  • Mild to severe dehydration

The dehydration that occurs in cholera can be severe. Symptoms include tiredness, dry eyes, dry mouth, excessive thirst, decreased urination, irregular heartbeat, and low blood pressure. Due to dehydration, the minerals present in the blood can be reduced, which can lead to electrolyte imbalance. Its first symptom is severe muscle cramps. Electrolyte imbalance can also cause shock.

Cholera Symptoms in Children 

Children with cholera can have the same symptoms as adults, but children can also feel these symptoms :

  • Drowsiness
  • Fever
  • Twitch
  • Coma
Symptoms of Cholera

Causes of Cholera

Vibrio cholerae is the bacteria that causes cholera infection. However, the lethal effects of this disease are the result of a potent toxin called CTX. CTX is a bacterium that originates in the small intestine. Due to this, there is a huge loss of water from the body and electrolytes are removed from the body.

  • Contaminated water is the main cause of cholera
  • Ice made from contaminated water
  • Food and drink sold by street vendors.
  • Vegetables grown with water containing human waste.
  • Raw or under-cooked fish and seafood caught in water polluted with sewage.
  • It is unlikely that you will catch cholera from casual contact with an infected person.
  • It spreads through feces, urine and dirt.
  • If vegetables and salads are not washed properly or are washed with dirty water, then there is a risk of cholera.
  • Cereals such as rice and millet can also cause cholera bacteria to spread. When these grains are allowed to remain at room temperature for several hours, bacteria grow more in them.

Cholera Bacteria in the Environment

Cholera bacteria are found naturally in coastal waters, where they attach to small crustaceans called copepods. From here they spread everywhere, such as by algae. Some types of algae and plankton grow rapidly as the water temperature rises. The growth of this algae is further encouraged by the urea found in sewage and agriculture.

Diagnosis of Cholera

Identifying the bacterium in a stool sample is the only way to diagnose it. The ‘Rapid Cholera Dipstick Test’ is done for diagnosis, which may take 2 to 15 minutes. In this, a dipstick bandage is inserted into the stool sample and the lines in it are checked. If red lines appear on the dipstick then it is a sign of cholera.

Risk Factor of Cholera

Certain factors can increase the risk, including :

  • If you live in a place where there is no sanitation or the water is contaminated, you are at higher risk of getting this disease.
  • If someone in your family has this problem, then you may also be more likely to get this disease.
  • It has been observed that people with ‘O’ blood type are more prone to cholera.
  • People who eat raw shellfish have a higher risk of getting this disease.
  • People who have low levels of stomach acid.

Prevention Tips for Cholera

  • Always use purified or clean water for drinking. 
  • Use purified water for washing dishes, brushing teeth as well.
  • If you have to use tap water, first boil it or use it after adding iodine to the water.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom and before eating and cooking food.
  • Make sure that the food you are eating is fully cooked and served hot.
  • Do not eat raw fruits and vegetables, especially without washing them.
  • Store water in a clean vessel only.
  • Eat only fresh food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with clean water and cook them.
  • Avoid unpeeled fruits.
  • In case of vomiting and diarrhea, do not ignore it and go to the doctor immediately.
  • Keeping camphor together does not cause cholera.

Treatment of Cholera 

If it is not treated at the right time, it can also become serious for the person. It is treated by the doctors in the following ways. Most people infected with the bacterium have mild diarrhea or no symptoms. Only a small proportion, about 5–10%, of persons infected with Vibrio cholerae O1 may develop disease requiring treatment at a health center. Cholera patients should be evaluated and treated quickly. With proper treatment, even critically ill patients can be saved.

1) Rehydration :

Giving boiled water mixed with ORS to reduce the symptoms of cholera.

2) Intravenous Fluids :

If the person is severely dehydrated, then doctors supply water through the veins.

3) Antibiotics :

To reduce the effect of severe symptoms, doctors give a dose of some antibiotics.

(Special Note : Do not use any medicines yourself, use only medicines as prescribed by the doctor.)

Diet For Cholera Disease

  • In cholera disease, a large amount of water is lost from the body. Therefore water should be consumed to meet the shortage of water.
  • Lemon, onion, green chili, vinegar and mint can be included in the regular diet during cholera disease.
  • Undercooked and soft rice can also be used in cholera disease.
  • Fresh fruits and milk can be used in breakfast.
  • Fresh fruit juice can also be taken in the morning.

Home Remedies for Cholera

Cholera treatment should be started at the earliest, as the disease can lead to the death of the patient. The goal of treatment is to compensate for the loss of water and bodily salts caused by vomiting and diarrhea.

1) Squeezing 1 lemon in 1 glass of clean water and mixing 1 teaspoon sugar candy or sugar (making shikanji) and drinking it in the morning is the best way to protect against cholera. Not only this, but in the initial stage of cholera disease, the disease is also cured by consuming it 1-2 times.

2) The importance of mint can be seen in the remedy of cholera. The properties of preventing many types of bacteria are found inside mint. Mint can also be used to prevent cholera bacteria. Take mint leaves. Extract its juice by crushing or grinding it. Now mix it with water and consume its juice thrice a day.

3) The benefits of fenugreek seeds can also be seen in cholera. According to a scientific research, fenugreek seeds can be used for the remedy of cholera disease. Put fenugreek and cumin in a bowl. Then add 2 spoons of curd to it and mix well. This mixture can be used thrice a day.

4) The benefits of onion can also be seen in cholera disease. According to a scientific research, it has been said, that onion can be used in cholera. Finely chop the onion. Then add asafoetida and black pepper to the finely chopped onions. Now grind this mixture and extract its juice. After that it can be consumed twice a day.

5) A mixture of ginger and honey is an effective medicine in cholera. For this, make a paste by grinding ginger and add honey to it. Its use gives quick relief.

6) Curd and banana can be consume in this disease. Its consumption gives great relief. For this, mash the banana well in curd and consume it. If you want, you can also consume buttermilk.

7) Turmeric can also be use as a home remedy for cholera disease. Turmeric can be an effective remedy to prevent cholera. According to a scientific research, the antibacterial properties present in turmeric can help in destroying the cholera bacteria present in the body. Take a big bowl. Soak the turmeric lump in a bowl. After that dry the lump of turmeric in the sun and make its powder. Then make a solution by mixing honey and turmeric in a cup of hot water as needed. Now you can consume it twice a day.

8) Clove has been use for a long time as a home remedy for cholera disease. Its benefits can also be seen in it. Put cloves in water and boil it well. After cooling it, you can consume it twice a day.

9) The benefits of buttermilk can be seen in the treatment of cholera as buttermilk is prepared from curd. According to a scientific research, it was report that the antimicrobial properties present in curd have the ability to inhibit the growth of it. Put the mixture of curd, cumin and salt in the mixer. Now make its buttermilk well. You can consume it thrice a day.

10) Doctors always recommend patients to drink ORS. ORS solution is also very beneficial in common diarrhea and vomiting. For this, heat a glass of water and add 2 teaspoons of sugar and salt as per taste. It also transmits energy in the body.

(Disclaimer : Tips and suggestions are for general information only. Do not take these as advice from a doctor or medical professional. In case of symptoms of illness or infection, consult a doctor.)

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