Why in News:
- Researchers identified the decline of antimicrobial resistance in O139 serogroup of cholera bacterium as a key determining factor in its downfall.
- Cholera is a life-threatening infectious disease and a public health hazard.
- It is caused by a comma-shaped bacterium known as Vibrio cholerae.
- Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
- More than two hundred serogroups of this bacterium are known, of which only O1 and O139 are known to cause such infection that leads to epidemics and pandemics.
- It takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water. Cholera affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated.
- Most people infected with V. cholerae do not develop any symptoms, although the bacteria are present in their faeces for 1-10 days after infection and are shed back into the environment, potentially infecting other people.
- Among people who develop symptoms, the majority have mild or moderate symptoms, while a minority develop acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration. This can lead to death if left untreated.
Prevention and Treatment
- Provision of safe water and sanitation is critical to prevent and control the transmission of cholera and other waterborne diseases.
- Severe cases will need rapid treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.