New trends in controlling endemic cholera
Definition, signs and symptoms
In the simplest of terms, cholera is an intestinal infection is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. This acute infectious disease results in painless, watery diarrhea contributing to extensive loss of fluids from the body. As early signs and symptoms of the infection, the body appears to turn grayish-blue in tone due to loss of body fluids, along with lethargy, pale fever and incessant vomiting. The disease may lead to a severe electrolyte imbalance and copious amount of dehydration in the body, if left untreated.
Widespread of Cholera: Fact File
Throughout the history there has been devastating outbreak of this fatal disease. Considering the statistics, the disease ensnares thousands of lives across the globe. Pertaining more to the developing countries, the disease has affected the social structures and economic development of nations.
The death toll due to cholera is on the rise with more than 500,000 cases and approximately 7000 deaths around the world in 2011. However, the data has been an underestimate, because the statistics are expected to reach anywhere in the range of around 1.4 million to 4.3 million worldwide. The trends are undoubtedly alarming, pointing towards a near epidemic.
Following are some noteworthy concerns that demands immediate attention-
- Approximately 1.3 million of people are at risk in endemic countries, carrying global burden of epidemic
- Escalated infant mortality rate, children below 5 years of age, contribute to half of the population affected annually
- Protracted choleric outbreak in Africa, Haiti, America are a global threat
- Lack of sanitation in three major endemic countries, China India and Indonesia
- Rapid and unplanned urbanization heightens pressure on the marginalized population
- Causative agents Vibrio choleraeO1 and O139 continue to thrive in over-populated housing and insalubrious water conditions, as per Weekly Epidemiological Record of WHO
Upsurge of New Combative Measures
Global efforts to counter the resurgence of cholera are ushering in a new phase now. Development of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) has being revolutionary in combating the massive destruction caused by this life threatening disease.OCV has opened new gateways to curb the disease among the most vulnerable of the population where the conventional preventive measures are difficult to implement or are not sufficient to cover such a major chuck of the population.
As per World Heath Organizations (WHO) recommendation the use immunization to curtail the mortality rate cannot be improvised at the last moment. There is a need to conduct advance research, meticulous planning and preparations. The major challenge that still persists is meliorating the assessment of risks, identification of target publics and their logistics.
The Need of Oral Vaccines
Recently, new generation of oral choleric vaccine is passed by the WHO standards to initiate a cheaper and much wider treatment of the disease. Low cost vaccine manufacturer has been assiduously implementing UNICEF guidelines to curb this waterborne infection.
Ideally, the deployment of this up-surging trend of immunization should cover-
- A close risk assessment by clearly outlining choleric epidemiology and trends.
- Ascertaining the lack in national mechanism to advance early detection and subsequent preventive measures.
- Making the oral vaccination campaign feasible that covers the masses
- The relevance of the immunization program in respect with the public health priorities.
Enteric diseases control measures involve both curative and preventive processes. Access to portable drinking water and sanitation are of paramount importance to counteract the onslaught of endemic cholera.
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