Accra, the capital of Ghana, has reported an outbreak of cholera due to localized unsanitary conditions as well as seasonal rains that flood the area. Nearby South Sudan’s capital Juba is experiencing a cholera outbreak of its own. Meanwhile, halfway across the world in the Philippines, four villages in Alamada, North Cotabato, are currently experiencing an outbreak of the disease.
What Is Cholera?
Cholera is a potentially fatal disease caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae. An infected person can produce as much as 10 to 20 liters of watery diarrhea in a single day. Some people may vomit as well. This diarrhea rapidly leads to dehydration, and death may occur in just a few days after onset of symptoms.
Around the world, 3 to 5 million cases of cholera occur annually. Of those, approximately 100,000 die of the disease. Most people experience just mild symptoms and then recover, but up to 5 percent of infected persons develop severe illness. Death can occur within hours if no medical care is provided.