Cholera Outbreak in Haiti Essay

1148 Words May 9th, 2013 5 Pages
Cholera Outbreak in Haiti On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck one of the most underdeveloped countries in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti. By January 24th, 52 aftershock quakes measuring 4.5 in magnitude, or greater, shook the area (Pan American). As the area literally calmed down, the Haitian government had estimated 315,000 people died, 300,000 were injured and 1 million were homeless (Pan American). As this country tries to recover from the devastation, people find themselves in poor living conditions. Most of them, even a year later, are living in tents provided by the Pan American Health Organization (the western hemisphere version of the World Health Organization) or in make shift shelters that they have …show more content…
Infections with V. cholera produce a large variety of symptoms. V. cholera colonizes the small intestines for twelve to seventy two hours before symptoms are exhibited. Severe symptoms include vomiting and profuse diarrhea, moderate to severe dehydration, causing hypovolaemic shock, and rice watery stools. Symptoms usually begin with stomach cramps and may progress to a loss of one liter of fluid per hour (Nature Review). With the large loss of fluid, this can cause severe fluid depletion and metabolic acidosis (Nature Review). This could lead to circulatory collapse and even death. Other symptoms include rapid heart beat, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes, low blood pressure, thirst, muscle cramps and restlessness or irritability (CDC). Patients with severe Cholera can develop acute renal failure, electrolyte imbalance and coma. Infected patients produce large amounts of infectious V. Cholera bacteria. Without adequate bathroom facilities, the bacteria contaminate water or food supplies causing more cases (CDC). Cholera transmission is closely related to poor environment management. It spreads mainly thru contaminated water, but has been found in improperly preserved or mishandled food. This includes fish, seafood, milk, ice cream and unpreserved meat. Cholera is not transmitted generally person to person, but can happen due to poor hygiene and sanitation. For rapid detection of V. cholera, dark field microscopy of a

Related Documents