Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Mystery of Yemen cholera epidemic solved

The most likely source of the cholera epidemic in Yemen has been discovered by scientists. Through the use of genomic sequencing, scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Institut Pasteur estimate the strain of cholera ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How cholera bacteria make people so sick

The enormous adaptability of the cholera bacterium explains why it is able to claim so many victims. Professor Ariane Briegel from the Leiden Institute of Biology has now discovered that this adaptability is due to rapid ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Cholera's global toil could diminish with new smartphone tech

For most, cholera comes as a mild to moderate form of diarrhea. For others, the diarrhea quickly causes dangerous fluid loss – up to a quart an hour – and has a milky appearance. Then comes hours of vomiting, and possibly ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Suspected cholera cases soar in Yemen's Hodeida: charity

Suspected cholera cases have nearly tripled in the past three months in Hodeida, the Yemeni port city on the front line between a pro-government alliance and rebels, Save the Children said Tuesday.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Niger cholera outbreak claims 67 lives

A cholera outbreak in Niger has killed 67 people since July out of thousands of recorded cases, the UN said Thursday, citing health ministry figures.

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Cholera

Cholera, sometimes known as Asiatic or epidemic cholera, is an infectious gastroenteritis caused by enterotoxin-producing strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Transmission to humans occurs through eating food or drinking water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae from other cholera patients. The major reservoir for cholera was long assumed to be humans themselves, but considerable evidence exists that aquatic environments can serve as reservoirs of the bacteria.

Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterium that produces cholera toxin, an enterotoxin, whose action on the mucosal epithelium lining of the small intestine is responsible for the disease's most salient characteristic, exhaustive diarrhea. In its most severe forms, cholera is one of the most rapidly fatal illnesses known, and a healthy person's blood pressure may drop to hypotensive levels within an hour of the onset of symptoms; infected patients may die within three hours if medical treatment is not provided. In a common scenario, the disease progresses from the first liquid stool to shock in 4 to 12 hours, with death following in 18 hours to several days, unless oral rehydration therapy is provided.

The majority of reported cholera cases worldwide occur in Africa. It is estimated that most cases of cholera are unreported due to poor surveillance systems, particularly in Africa. Fatality rates are 5% of total cases in Africa, and less than 1% elsewhere. For a map of recent international outbreaks, see:[3]

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