The bacteria Vibrio cholerae is responsible for causing cholera. The route through which it affects humans is eating contaminated food stuff and drinking contaminated water. Unclean living conditions, and poor hygiene and sanitation are the main causes of this disease.
In developed countries, cholera is practically extinct because of modern water treatment and sanitation systems. The last major outbreak of cholera in the United States was almost a century back in 1910-11. However, in developing countries of Asia and Africa the incidence of cholera is quite common.
Once the cholera bacteria have infected an individual, it may take 24 to 72 hours for the symptoms to develop. The severity of the systems will depend on the number of bacteria ingested. Some healthy individuals may not develop any symptoms. Otherwise the person will suffer acute diarrhea. This highly liquid diarrhea is full of bacteria and can infect water sources nearby. Initially, the diarrhea is watery and brown and then subsequently it changes to pale fluid stools. Continuous diarrhea can lead to shock and collapse.
Cholera is more feared than many other diseases because it dehumanizes the victim. Diarrhea and dehydration are so severe that the person looses vital energy. He becomes physically very weak and may require help to even get up and walk. His body shrinks and only bones will be visible. He is not interested in anything. He is unable to communicate and may not relate himself to what is going on and he will be in a state of shock.
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