SYMP­TOMS OF CHOLERA

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

MOST peo­ple who are ex­posed don’t be­come ill and never know they are in­fected. How­ever, be­cause they shed the cholera bac­te­ria in their stool for seven to 14 days, they can still in­fect oth­ers.

Most peo­ple who be­come sick with cholera ex­pe­ri­ence only mild or mod­er­ate di­ar­rhoea that’s hard to dis­tin­guish from di­ar­rhoea caused by other prob­lems.

The on­set of cholera is usu­ally sud­den, with in­cu­ba­tion pe­ri­ods rang­ing from six hours to five days.

Cholera symp­toms can range from mild to se­vere and in­clude:

Se­vere, wa­tery di­ar­rhoea. Di­ar­rhoea (look out for the char­ac­ter­is­tic “rice water” stools or di­ar­rhoea that has a fishy odour). What makes it so deadly is the loss of huge amounts of flu­ids in a short pe­riod.

Nau­sea and vom­it­ing. It oc­curs in the early and later stages, it may per­sist for hours.

Mus­cle cramps. This is a re­sult of the loss of salts: chlo­ride, sodium and potas­sium.

De­hy­dra­tion. This can de­velop within hours. Depend­ing on how much body fluid has been lost, de­hy­dra­tion can range from mild to se­vere.

Signs of cholera de­hy­dra­tion. Ir­ri­tabil­ity, lethargy, sunken eyes, dry mouth, ex­treme thirst, dry, shriv­elled skin, lit­tle or no urine out­put, low blood pres­sure, ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat, rapid pulse, dry mu­cous mem­branes, ex­treme thirst, lethargy, un­usual sleepi­ness, in­fre­quent uri­na­tion or sunken fontanelles in in­fants.

Shock. Hy­po­v­olemic shock is one of the most se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions. This oc­curs when low blood vol­ume causes a drop in blood pres­sure, this re­sults in re­duc­tion of the amount of oxy­gen reach­ing the tis­sues. If this is not treated it could lead to death.

Signs and symp­toms in chil­dren Chil­dren gen­er­ally have the same symp­toms as adults, but could also ex­pe­ri­ence:

Ex­treme drowsi­ness or even coma

Fever

Con­vul­sions

Test­ing for cholera is done by tak­ing a stool cul­ture (cholera does not get into the blood). — health24. com

IF YOU ARE IN BU­L­AWAYO, RE­PORT ANY SEWER BURSTS OR PIPE BURSTS TO THE CITY COUN­CIL ON HOT­LINES 08084700 FOR ECONET NUMBERS ONLY; 08004700 FOR TELONE NUMBERS AND 0971290 FOR ALL NET­WORKS. YOU CAN ALSO WHAT­SAPP 0774668432. — EDITOR.

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