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Word Count: 459
It seems every time we hear of a major flood or earthquake in a developingcountry we hear once again about cholera Cholera has been very rare in industrialnations such as the USA for the last 100 years however what we do not realize is thatcholera is endemic in many small countries which have limited drinking water andCaused by an infection of bacterium Vibrio Cholerae in the intestine a cholerainfection is often mild or without symptoms but sometimes is severe Symptoms appear2 to 3 days after initial exposure Approximately one in 20 infected persons displaysymptoms of water diarrhea vomiting and leg cramps this rapid lose of body fluidsleads to dehydration and sometimes shock These fluids must be replaced eitherintravenously or by drinking liquids such as fruit juice soup or fluids called oralrehydration salts which replace electrolytes Antibiotics may be proscribed to shorten theduration of diarrhea and excretion of bacteria in feces Without treatment death mayAlthough cholera can be life-threating it can easily be prevented and treated Avaccine for cholera is available however it confers only brief 2 to 6 months andincomplete immunity only about 50 effective It is not recommended Since cholera isstill common in other parts of the world everyone especially travelers should be awareof how the disease is transmitted and what can be done to prevent itThe disease is not likely to spread directly from one person to another thereforecasual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill A person may getcholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the Vibrio cholerae bacterium In an epidemic the source of the contamination is usually the feces of aninfected person entering the main water source The cholera bacterium may also live inbrackish rivers and coastal waters Shellfish from infected waters can cause infection Unwashed fresh fruits and vegetables irrigated with tainted water can also infect Prevention of cholera is easy When in a possibly infected area cook the foodproperly eat foods
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