Haiti Cholera Outbreak Rages

In Haiti the cholera outbreak is increasing and it has sent fearful shockwaves through villages and towns because it is not understood how the disease is transmitted or cured.

Cholera is a bacterial infection that is spread through contaminated water or food. Cholera occurs in places where people can’t get access to clean water or where there is poor sanitation. Symptoms are severe diarrhea, vomiting,  and abdominal cramps. The average incubation period is 2-5 days and it can cause rapid death if fluids are not replaced.

What is most misunderstood is that it is not the infection that kills people.  Your body could naturally overcome the infection, however it is the symptom of dehydration that is taking lives unnecessarily.  A person with the cholera infection may need to drink up to 10% of his body weight during the first few hours of the disease in order to stay hydrated.  If rehydration is accomplished the patient can recover, even without the aid of antibiotics. Re-hydration is crucial in savings lives.

The best treatment for cholera in Haiti is hydration.  This can be achieved through a simple solution of salt, sugar and water, (see chart) given in large doses to match the output of fluids as a replacement.  If symptoms are severe, antibiotics are administered to fight the infection and control the diarrhea so that fluids may be retained.

This simple solution is called Oral Rehydration Therapy and has been around since the late 60’s when scientists discovered it could save lives.

Isn’t it amazing that just salt, sugar and clean water can save thousands of lives, and isn’t it terrible that people are still dying from such a preventable disease?

About C.H. Dyer

I am the CEO of Bright Hope. I am dedicated to helping those who earn less than $1.00 a day. There are one billion people in my target market (the extreme poor) and I could use some help. I am a Christian, father of three (two are internationally adopted), entrepreneur, speaker, improving writer and amateur photographer.

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