Cholera is a poisoning epidemic contagious enteric due to Vibrio cholerae, or comma bacillus, discovered by Pacini in 1854 and rediscovered by Koch in 1883. It is characterized by diarrhea brutal and very abundant. The most classical form is fatal in more than half the cases, without treatment (a few hours to three days).
The first description by a European history is made in 1503 by an officer of Vasco da Gama, which describes an epidemic of cataclysmic rapidly fatal diarrhea (8 hours) and causing 20 000 deaths in Calicut (India).
Initially limited to Asia (India, China and Indonesia), epidemics developed in the nineteenth century pandemics real reach the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.
Sept pandemics are identified:
* 1st pandemic (1817-1825): part of Asia affecting East Africa and from Asia Minor in 1823 and in the process, Russia and Europe.
* 2nd pandemic (1826-1841): the epidemic spreads from Mecca to Egypt and then Europe.
* 3rd pandemic (1846-1861): the epidemic part of China affects the Maghreb (especially Algeria) and Europe.
* 4th pandemic (1863-1876): it affects Northern Europe, Belgium in 1866, then France, North Africa and South America.
* 5th pandemic (1883-1896): the epidemic broadcasts from India to the east and west on several continents.
* 6th pandemic (1899-1923): from Asia, the epidemic is spreading in Russia and then in Central and Western Europe.
* 7th pandemic (since 1961): the 7th pandemic, part of Indonesia in 1961, invaded Asia (1962), then the Middle East and parts of Europe (1965), and then extends 1970 to the African continent, and in 1991 to Latin America. In Africa, where cholera is rampant now so endemic that the situation is most disturbing today.
Prevention against cholera
There is a vaccine whose effectiveness is far from absolute and that is binding in any country. It does about half of people vaccinated, and its effectiveness is six months to one year. The vaccine is marketed in France, mainly for travelers.
In endemic areas, prevention of cholera is essentially hygiene measures, including preventing the crossing of the food chain with excrement.
On a personal level, should wash their hands thoroughly and avoid collective towel. Clean and disinfect everything that was in contact with the faeces (NB: sick or not sick, there is healthy carriers).
Regarding food, use clean water for hygiene, drinking and washing food: if the country does not have a network of disposal of waste water and water treatment use water delivered encapsulated in a bottle (which will be unsealed ahead) or failing water or boiled javellisea. We must be wary of sources "hidden" water contaminated fruits and vegetables may have been washed with unclean water (it should peel), ice, ice creams and sorbets. Avoid seafood.
Regarding collective measures, we must eliminate flies, vectors of vibrio, and organizing disposal of faeces so that they do not cross the food chain.
Researchers also believe designate in advance the areas of risk and early epidemic, for analysis (monitoring) of satellite images to predict outbreaks of copepods needed to trigger epidemics, from outbreaks phytoplankton.
Diagnosis and Therapy
In mild cases, cholera is characterized by enteritis, which is usually not diagnosed as cholera. It appears so acute vomiting and diarrhea and frequent heavy liquid (50 to 100 per day), which leads to dehydration and loss of minerals leading to acidosis and hypokalemia. The stool is colorless and odorless (aspect of "rice water"). In severe cases, this change may cause metabolic death in a day or two.
Accurate diagnosis is by culture of germs from feces.
Treatment consists primarily of rehydration, which keeps the patient alive long it heal spontaneously within a few days. Rehydration is possible if combined with antibiotics.
The "chicken cholera" (and poultry) is due to a kind of germ Pasteurella, later named in honor of Louis Pasteur, not the germ Vibrio cholerae is responsible for the classic cholera.(w3c)
Read also Bacteria