Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Health Warning - Cholera


As many of you may be aware, there has been an outbreak of Cholera in Zimbabwe. Reports have started filtering in this week, suggesting that some areas of South Africa may also be effected. Although these reports are unsubstantiated, we thought it may be useful to provide some general information about Cholera to you and your Employees.

WHAT IS CHOLERA?

It is an acute intestinal infection caused by the consumption of food or water contaminated with the Bacterium, Vibrio Cholorae. It is normally prevalent in countries without safe water and proper sanitation, where the disease can spread very rapidly.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CHOLERA?

Some people contracting Cholera may not show symptoms. However, one in 20 experience:
  • SEVERE, DIARRHOEA CAUSED BY THE INFECTION OF THE INTESTINE AND DEATH WITHIN HOURS
  • NAUSEA AND VOMITING
  • MUSCLE CRAMPS
  • DEHYDRATION – Signs of Cholera Deyhdration include, Irritability. lethargy, sunken eyes, dry mouth, extreme thirst, little or no urine output, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat
  • SHOCK
Signs and symptoms in children. Children generally have the same symptoms as adults, but could also experience:
  • Extreme drowsiness or even coma
  • Fever
  • Convulsions
CAN CHOLERA BE TREATED?

Cholera can be simply and successfully treated by immediate replacement of the fluids and salts lost through diarrhea. Prevention, however, is better than cure. The following guidelines were sourced online (Wikipedia.com):
  • Sterilization: Proper disposal and treatment of the germ infected fecal waste produced by cholera victims (and all clothing and bedding that come in contact with it) is of primary importance. All materials (such as clothing and bedding) that come in contact with cholera patients should be sterilized in hot water using chlorine bleach if possible. Hands that touch cholera patients or their clothing and bedding should be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized.
  • Sources: Warnings about cholera contamination posted around contaminated water sources with directions on how to decontaminate the water. Don't drink surface water.
  • Water purification: All water used for drinking, washing, or cooking should be sterilized by boiling or chlorination in any area where cholera may be present. Boiling, filtering, and chlorination of water kill the bacteria produced by cholera patients and prevent infections from spreading. Water filtration, chlorination, and boiling are by far the most effective means of halting transmission. Cloth filters, though very basic, have significantly reduced the occurrence of cholera when used in poor villages in Bangladesh that rely on untreated surface water.
Marion Mclauchlan
Reception

CONSULT YOUR ASSOCIATION.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU !

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