Cholera rearing its head again: WHO

Cholera rearing its head again: WHO

News WHO

Cholera, a disease that dates back to the 19th century, may return after years of decline, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning that after years of decline, the 19th-century illness Cholera may come back. According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of WHO, food and water-borne diseases have seen an alarming rise worldwide over the past year.

“Cholera thrives on poverty and conflict, but climate change is now boosting it. Extreme weather conditions like floods, cyclones, and droughts further restrict access to clean water and foster the spread of cholera, according to Ghebreyesus.

Cholera being an acute diarrheal infection is brought on by consuming water or food tainted with the Vibrio cholera bacterium which results in severe diarrheal illness. While most patients recover from the illness with minimal or no symptoms, some may experience severe dehydration and acute watery diarrhea.

Dr. Sandeep Budhiraja, medical director of the Max healthcare group, says that severe dehydration can result in fatal complications if left untreated.

“India never managed to eradicate cholera. However, there are indeed more people now suffering from the illness. Even in a large city like Delhi, cholera cases tended to cluster during July and August. Some patients also need to be hospitalized, the doctor said.

In the Odisha district of Rayagada, cholera claimed the lives of seven people and infected about 100 more. Cholera outbreaks frequently occur in India, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health (IJERP). According to the study, 68 outbreaks were reported between 1997 and 2006, and 559 outbreaks were reported between 2009 and 2017.

“However, this is just the beginning. Researchers from Okayama University, Japan, and Brainware University, Kolkata, have stated in the IJERP study that the disease is gravely underreported in India. Despite these statistics, cholera remains an under-recognized public health issue in India.