Cholera is a serious form of bacterial infection which can lead you to death with in hours, if left untreated.
Contaminated water is the main source for cholera to spread.
It is an acute intestinal infection which is mainly caused due to intake of contaminated food or water.
Cholera is an acute illness which is mainly characterized with watery diarrhea. The toxin released by this bacterial infection increases the secretion of water and chloride ions in the intestine and develops massive diarrhea.
This bacterial infection can occur under certain epidemic conditions like poor sanitation, famines, crowding and during war times. The mild form of cholera is associated with a short incubation period of one to five days.
Don’t get confused with diarrhea and cholera
For most of the people, the signs and symptoms of cholera are not exposed and you will never feel any illness and infection, until the disease becomes serious. If you become sick with cholera, then you can experience mild to moderate forms of diarrhea and it is hard to distinguish the diarrhea caused with bacterial infection and with other problems. These are some of symptoms which you can rarely experience when you get cholera infection.
- Severe diarrhea: The incubation period for cholera is one to five days. If the infection is more serious, then it will end up with severe diarrhea.
- Muscle cramps: If the amounts of sodium, potassium and chloride salts are reduced rapidly, then you can experience severe muscle cramps.
- Dehydration: This can be developed immediately with in hours after the onset of cholera symptoms. Depending on the loss of fluids in your body, dehydration can range from mild to severe. You can feel irritation and extreme thirst if the dehydration is severe. Your mouth can become dry and can experience unusual sleepiness and tiredness.
- Hypovolemic shock: This is one of most dangerous complications involved in cholera dehydration. It can occur due to low blood pressure and a corresponding reduction in the oxygen level in your body tissues. If it is not treated promptly, it can lead to death with in minutes.
Cholera could be a life threatening problem:
Apart from shock and severe dehydration, there are certain complications involved in cholera which can create life threatening problems for you. These complications include:
Hypoglycemia: This is the most common complication which can affect children due to low blood levels of glucose. This glucose is the main energy source for your body, which gets absorbed into the blood stream after the intake of food. Low glucose levels can make you sick and fatigue. When you are affected with severe cholera, you will become ill to eat, which results in lower glucose levels due to which you can become weak. Some times, this can lead to unconsciousness and even death.
Hypokalemia: This is mainly caused due to reduced levels of minerals including potassium in your body. Low levels of potassium can disturb the functioning of heart and nervous system, which is very dangerous.
Kidney failure: This can happen in association with hypovolemic shock, in which your kidney loses its ability to filter the excess amounts of fluids and wastes in your body.
Therefore, whenever you notice the symptoms of cholera, consult the doctor immediately.