Cholera

12 July 2007

How is cholera treated?

Successful treatment requires the replacing of fluids and salts lost through diarrhoea.

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Successful treatment requires the replacing of fluids and salts lost through diarrhoea. Although antibiotics may shorten the duration of the symptoms, they're not as important as rehydration.

The most important treatment in rehydration, which consists of immediate replacement of the water and salts lost through severe diarrhoea and vomiting. Early rehydration can save the lives of most cholera patients. Most can be rehydrated quickly by drinking large quantities of a solution of oral rehydration salts. Patients who become severely dehydrated may need to receive fluid intravenously.

Packets of oral rehydration salts are available from most city pharmacies and health care facilities.

If you have diarrhoea – especially severe diarrhoea – and are in an area where there is cholera, seek medical treatment immediately. Start drinking water and other non-sweetened fluids, such as soup on the way to getting help.

 

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