What follow is a guide on cholera treatment and prevention in Kenya and what you should do if you are traveling to a cholera outbreak area.
What is Cholera?
Cholera can be described as a gastrointestinal infection caused by a bacteria known as vibrio cholerae. It is associated with poor sanitation and hygiene. It is transmitted through food and water borne transmission. Therefore eating or drinking dirty water and food can lead to cholera.
Symptoms of cholera
The symptoms mainly start showing a few hours after infection. The symptoms are mainly diarrhea and vomiting. It is at this stage that the infected person may infect others if he or she handles food or water without adhering to sanitary precautions.
The diarrhea then advances to complete watery diarrhea and vomiting which leads to dehydration. If an infected person is not immediately attended to, it can lead to death.
If you detect you have cholera, you should visit the nearest health facility for examination. The pathologist should then take your stool and do a lab test.
Treatment of Cholera
Most people die of Cholera due to dehydration. Therefore treatment is through Oral Re-hydration therapy. Severe cases would need intravenous fluid replacement. Antibiotics such tetracycline can also be used.
Prevention and management
Cholera prevention measures include;
- Treat sewage before release
- Proper sanitation and hygiene
- Boil drinking water before drinking
- Eat hot foods
- Wash fruits with clean water before eating
- Avoid salads if there is an outbreak in your area
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before eating
Important! If you are traveling to an area where there is Cholera outbreak, take a vaccine called Vaxchora (seek medical expert attention before taking it). This vaccine is however not 100% protective. Standard prevention measures listed above should be observed.
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