Minister Balbir Sidhu on Cholera prevention and awareness

Chandigarh: Punjab Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu, on Wednesday, informed that quickly swinging into action, the Punjab Government has conducted house to house survey, ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) packets and Chlorine tablets to disinfect drinking water have been provided, where outbreak of Cholera was reported. He said that people need to be aware about the disease to prevent it at early stage and should not panic as Health Department making all out efforts to control the spread of this disease. In fact people should be aware about the steps to prevent cholera.

Mr. Sidhu said, cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholerae bacteria. People can be infected after having food or water contaminated with cholera bacteria. He said that infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening. It is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated.

Health Minister further stated that this disease is most common in places with poor sanitation. Instructions have already been issued to depute a medical team as well as an ambulance if any outbreak occurred regarding cholera.

He divulged that symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection. Often, symptoms are mild. About 1 in 10 people with cholera will experience severe symptoms, which, in the early stages, include profuse watery diarrhoea, sometimes described as “rice-water stools”, vomiting, thirst, leg cramps, restlessness or irritability.

Mr. Sidhu added that health care providers should look for signs of dehydration when examining a patient with profuse watery diarrhoea which included rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes and low blood pressure. People with severe cholera can develop severe dehydration, which can lead to kidney failure. If left untreated, severe dehydration can lead to shock, coma, and death within hours.

Giving details about Cholera Treatment and Prevention, Mr. Sidhu said that there is a vaccine for cholera. Both the CDC and the World Health Organization have specific guidelines that who should be given this vaccine. He said that anyone can protect himself and family by using only water that has been boiled, water that has been chemically dis-infected, or bottled water.

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