Cholera in India

Disease overview

Cholera is a common illness especially in the tropical regions like most countries in Africa and Asia and the Americas, though in fewer instances in this region as compared to the former two regions. More often it is termed as an outbreak or pandemic since the spread is so fast and can cause deaths amazingly fast among many if not well managed and controlled and treated. Cholera is an illness caused by bacterium called vibrio Cholerae. It is a species that is not prevalent among human beings and their presence in the human system is not meant to be a natural part of the life cycle of the bacteria. The natural places that the bacteria is frequently found is in the estuary ecology and finds home in snails, floating planktons, any static form in the ecology and even crustaceans (Shin S.,, 2011).


The challenge of permanently eradicating cholera infections from the Indian society at large has been worrying the environmental health practitioners and the medics in equal measures. The recurrent nature of this infection that goes with the seasons has occasioned several researchers and this paper strives to highlight some of the salient information on the nature, prevalence and possible treatment and control of cholera in India. It highlights the Etiology, Virulence, and Transmission. The paper further discusses the epidemiology and contributing social factors to cholera infections, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations and Diagnosis of cholera.


Etiology, Virulence, and Transmission

The infection is caused by the bacterium called Vibrio cholera, the deadly symptoms of the infection are however caused by a potent toxin known as CTX which is emitted by the bacteria in the small intestines. This toxin CTX embeds itself on the walls of the small intestines and binds it hence interfering with the normal intake and absorption of the sodium and chloride. This state makes the human body to secrete large amounts of water hence being dispelled from the body making the body to lose essential and significant amounts of water and salts. The cholera bacterium has two distinct lifecycles, one that takes place in the natural environment and the other within the human body (Mayo Clinic, 2014).

The bacterium enters the human system through various avenues but the most common is through ingestion of contaminated food. The sea foods that are eaten raw are a source that can deposit large number of the bacteria that can cause cases of cholera. Cholera can also be contacted through getting into contact with moist surfaces and then the hand finds its way to ones mouth and another way is through use of water that is contaminated by the bacteria.

Epidemiology and Contributing Social Factors

In India, there is a clear epidemiological feature of the appearance of cholera in a regular patters especially in the areas of endemic infections. The outbreaks are normally traced back to specific areas of focus which is a major pointer to the contribution of environment to the trigger of the cholera infection in India (Faruque S.M., 2014). Bangladesh and India are reported t be having the largest at risk population with cases being 2.0 people out of every 1,000 people and a mortality rate standing at 6.3 deaths for every 100,000 people at risk (Medscape, 2014).

There are some social factors that perpetrate the prevalence and persistence of cholera within the environment. Bearing that the infections in India are regular and come back each time is a clear indication that there are some social factors that give the needed room for the bacteria to persist and spread within the regularly affected areas. The social cultural norms of toilet use have a great bearing on the spread of cholera in India. There is a lot of pressure on the few toilets that are located outside in public places and hence there are people from all sections using it. This means that the users are prone to infections whenever there is a slight outbreak. The common toilets will act as a contact point where people will come and get infected by touching the door knob or the walls and fail t wash their hands after using theā€¦