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About Cholera disease - Research Paper Example

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Cholera Introduction Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium known as Vibrio cholera. The methods of disease transmission involve an access to contaminated food and water. The disease occurs in parts of the world where people live in poor hygienic conditions and do not have an access to proper sanitation…
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Download file to see previous pages The toxin choleragen cause severe diarrhea by disrupting the function of the epithelium of the small intestine. The clinical features of the disease include severe diarrhea which results in loss of body fluids and salts. The persistent diarrhea results in severe dehydration and weakness. The method of diagnosis involves microscopic analysis of feces. The annual incidence of cholera accounts for about 5.5 million worldwide. The annual mortality worldwide is 120 000. The treatment for cholera involves Oral Rehydration Therapy which restores the osmotic balance of the blood and tissue fluids. The only way to prevent cholera infection is to have an access to uncontaminated food and water. (BARUA et al 209-214). Etiology: Cholera is an infectious disease of the small intestine. It is caused by ingesting contaminated food or water, which contains the pathogen Vibrio cholera which is a comma-shaped, motile, Gram negative bacterium. The bacterium produces an enterotoxin which causes rise water stools in the individual affected. It can lead to severe dehydration and eventually death if left untreated. The bacterium acts on the intestinal wall to interfere with the flow of sodium and chloride. This flow of the electrolytes causes a misbalance and hence watery diarrhea ensues. Well water, seafood, raw fruits and vegetables along with grains are the possible carriers of the bacterium. The methods of prevention are further highlighted below in the essay (Taylor et al 500-505 ; MayoClinic). Life Cycle: The organism V. cholera has two life cycles – one in the environment and one inside the human body. V. cholera are present in brackish coastal waters and are found attached to copepods (a type of crustacean), as well as chitin-containing shells of crabs, shrimps, and other shellfish. A rise in the temperature of the water creates a favorable environment for the bacterium. The cholera vibrio can also live inside algae, in a dormant state, for years. Sewage tends to encourage the growth of algae because it contains nutrients. Thus these ‘algal blooms’ also result in the transmission of the disease (MayoClinic). The pathogen multiplies in the intestine, releasing a powerful toxin (CTX) which disrupts the flow of sodium and chloride ions. The disruption of sodium and chloride ions results in diarrhea which causes rapid loss of water, fluids and salts from the body (rice-water stool) (MayoClinic). There are two serogroups of the bacterium, O-group 1 and O-group 139, and it is their toxigenic strains which are known to cause cholera. V. cholera O1 has two biotypes – Classical and El Tor. Each biotype has two serotypes – Inaba and Ogawa. Individuals infected with El Tor, either do not show any symptoms of the disease, or develop only a mild illness. The classical serotype is now only restricted to Bangladesh and India (WHO; CDC). Contaminated standing water, seafood, raw fruits and vegetables and grains like rice and millet may harbor the bacterium especially in developing countries where there is poor sanitation and the provision of clean drinking water is a formidable challenge. The disease can also be spread by vectors like flies when moving from human feces to food. After being infected with the bacterium 25% of the people develop the disease. The rest remain ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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