Water Supply and Development of Cholera

Water Supply and Development of Cholera



Cholera is known as a type of water borne disease that is commonly recognized to affect a large population percentage of individuals in developing countries. Cholera is associated with the bacteria, vibrio cholera, which can derive from the consumption of contaminated food and water. Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease. Due to this disease being extremely transmissible affecting different populations, this disease is fatal when not identified in its primary stages for treatment.  The effects of water supply on the development of cholera will be analyzed to develop a clearer understanding of the disease itself, the harms, the risks, and other strands.




The agent derived from cholera isVibrio Cholera, which is one of the most known agents typically associated with the contamination of food and water. According to the Centers of Disease and Environmental Control (CDC), “this disease is not likely to spread directly from one person to another; therefore, casual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill (CDC, 2016).” When looking at this disease as an epidemic, it is often transmitted through the feces of an infected person. Cholera is also transmitted through indulging with contaminated food and water, dirty hands, and other defecating circumstances. Locations in which this disease is commonly associated are congested areas. “Individuals living in places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and inadequate hygiene are at a greater risk for cholera (CDC, 2016).” Another example would be plains, which typically flood throughout the season where rainfall is more prominent to occur.




The treatment for cholera can be simply and successfully treated through instantaneous replacement of fluids and salts disposed through diarrhea. Those affected can obtain treatment using oral rehydration solutions that include mixtures of salts and sugars consumed with in large chunks with water. Depending on the severity of the disease per individual, some require intravenous fluid replacement. “Antibiotics shorten the course and diminish the severity of the illness, but they are not as important as receiving rehydration. Persons who develop severe diarrhea and vomiting in countries where cholera occurs should seek medical attention promptly (CDC, 2016).”




Determining who has been infected with cholera is simply made through an observation. According to the CDC, “Approximately one in ten (5-10%) infected persons will have severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours (CDC, 2016).” Animals play a role in contaminating water supply with this disease through their urine and manure being exposed to water supply. Human activities and behaviors also play a role in the contamination. A human behavior such as openly exposing fecal matter into the environment also poses the threat of cholera potentially spreading if one is already infected.




The fight against cholera has taken time and effort starting with appropriate management of water sources. Although this disease does exist, there are precautions that can be taken to lessen the likelihood of contracting the disease. Recommendations have been made to drink only bottled, boiled, or chemically treated water. As with any item the seal needs to be checked for breakage. Other suggestions are to avoid tap water, fountain drinks, to ensure your hands are thoroughly clean especially having using the restroom. As it relates to food, there have been recommendations of eating packaged food or freshly cooked foods.  To avoid potential exposure, having access to oral cholera vaccine is affective and also encouraged to receive. The use of a rotavirus to prevent diarrheal diseases have been proven to have a promising effect. Health planning and promotions are constantly being implemented to examine the causes and effect of the disease to encourage the awareness. Organizations such as the CDC, WHO, UNICEFF, have all collaborated research to involve the community as a whole. The spread of cholera has made itself known and the efforts to ensure the population’s safety and to protect against the infection spreading is why health organizations and professionals join together to effectively execute plans.







Cholera- Vibrio cholerae infection.Centers of Disease and Environmental Control (CDC). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/general/

Leidner, A. J., &Adusumilli, N. C. (2013).Estimating effects of improved drinking water and sanitation on cholera.Journal of water and health, 11(4), 671-683.


Evolution of infectious disease.Oxford University Press.


Popovic, T., Bopp, C., Olsvik, Ø.,&Wachsmuth, K. (1993). Epidemiologic application of a standardized ribotype scheme for Vibrio cholerae O1.Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 31(9), 2474-2482.




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