Fundamental understanding of CHOLERA

Fundamental understanding of CHOLERA

Recently, there has been a breakout of Cholera in Nigeria. According to the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), there have been a total of 1141 suspected cases from January 1 - June 11 2024 with a total number of 65 confirmed deaths.

States that have been affected by this recent breakout are Bayelsa, Zamfara, Abia, Bauchi, Cross River, Nassarawa, Katsina, Delta, Imo, and Lagos state.


What is Cholera?

Cholera is a bacterial disease that affects the small intestine of the digestive system.

It is an infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. This bacterium can make its way into the body through the consumption of contaminated food, food washed with contaminated water, or drinking water contaminated with Vibrio cholerae.

Most of the time, this water can be contaminated when it is coming from an open source prone to contamination like streams or open overhead tanks.

Global statistics 

Cholera is a global public health concern as it occurs more in underdeveloped countries where poor sanitation, contaminated water supply, poor living conditions, and overcrowdedness as in refugee camps are a thing.

All these factors make these countries susceptible to the cholera infection.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimate of about 1.3-4 million Cholera cases occur annually with 21,000-143,000 deaths occurring. In Africa as of March 2024, there have been about 348,609 cases and 6342 deaths.

Symptoms of infection 

When a person is infected by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae it takes around 12 hours- 5 days for symptoms to manifest.

Some common symptoms are:

Diarrhea (frequent urge to excrete feces) 


They could both be present at the same time or it could just be intense watery diarrhea. These 2 symptoms lead to dehydration and this dehydration leads to fatigue, cramping of muscles, and possible death in severe cases if left untreated.


Thankfully, cholera is treatable and when there is an early finding, there is faster treatment.

Rapid rehydration therapy is usually used for treatment by administering the Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) to the infected patient.The standard sachet of the W.H.O ORS is usually dissolved in 1 liter of clean water. In adults, an average of 6 Liters of this solution would be needed at the beginning of treatment.

In extreme cases of dehydration, administration of intravenous fluids and antibiotics would be required to stabilize the patient.


Firstly use only clean water for drinking and cooking.To further purify, you can boil it properly and store it in a clean container to avoid contamination.

Also, you could make use of chlorine to purify your water.

Wash your hands properly and frequently.

This bacteria can contaminate your hand after you have made contact with a contaminated surface unknowingly. It is important to wash your hands before a meal and after your meal.

After you use the restroom wash your hands.

After you clean up a child poo wash your hands 

After you finish tending to a sick person wash your hands.

Keep your toilets clean.

After every use, make sure to properly flush out your poo and disinfect the surface too.


Eat safely 

Avoid eating foods prepared in a poorly hygienic environment.

Avoid eating half-prepared or raw foods

It is advisable to have your food when it is still hot 


Always disinfect surfaces 

From your rooms to the kitchen to the living room, carefully clean surfaces with constant hand contact frequently.

Do you know someone who has ever been diagnosed with Cholera? Or there form of experience you would like to share? Let us learn in the comment section.