NOV 05, 2016 06:33 PM PDT

How Cholera Affects the Body

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

According to the Centers for Disease Control, although it remains rare in the United States and other parts of the developed world, cholera cases are on the rise in many areas. It is caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium, which lives in water or food that has been fouled with excrement from an cholera-infected person. Poor water quality is a primary driver of the spread of cholera.

In the video, the process behind the disease caused by the bacterium is explained. Symptoms can range from mild to very severe, and in roughly five to ten percent of cases, afflicted people die from the infection. Cramps in the legs accompany serious diarrhea and vomiting which can lead to such devastating loss of body fluids that dehydration and shock set in. Death can then occur within only a few hours.

Treatment can be as simple as replenishing the fluids and salts that were lost from the body orally, although serious cases can require intravenous administration. Antibiotics can also shorten the duration and lessen the severity of cholera, but patient rehydration is paramount. Two cholera vaccines are also available, but supply is too limited to help those is the poorest parts of the world.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
What We've Learned About Mars From India's Mangalyaan Mission
Back in 2013, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched a Mars-orbiting spacecraft dubbed the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also known as Mangal...
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
The Science Behind the Hubble Deep Field Image
The Hubble Space Telescope launched into low orbit around the Earth in 1990, and it was only a few years later that the space-based observatory captured a...
OCT 21, 2019
Earth & The Environment
OCT 21, 2019
Will Banana Crops Survive a Changing Climate?
Climate change impacts, most notably rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, are impacting agricultural production around the world. It&rs...
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
All About NASA's Upcoming Plan to Explore Europa
Planetary scientists have been in search of potentially habitable worlds for years, and perhaps one of the most promising places we have yet to explore in...
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
How Large Solar Storms Can Impact Earth's Power Grid
The Sun is a powerful ball of energy, and with that in mind, it should come as no surprise to anyone that it can sometimes become unstable. Over time, the...
OCT 21, 2019
Earth & The Environment
OCT 21, 2019
Greenland's Summer Melt Helps Scientists Track Sea Level Rise
This summer, the Greenland Ice Sheet experienced a significant melting event not seen since 2002, mainly due to the heatwave that swept through most of Eur...
Loading Comments...