Health, Medical, and Environmental Risk Factors of Cholera

Cholera, a severe bacterial infection, affects the intestines, causing bouts of watery diarrhea, heaving, circulatory distress, and shock. Anyone can contract cholera, the exception being nursing infants. But there are particular contributors that can predispose people to the illness:

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Malnutrition. People who are starving have a propensity to catching cholera. The illness takes hold in places where survivors of war or natural disasters live. Or in communities that suffer famine.

Low levels of stomach acid. Inadequate levels of stomach acid create an environment for cholera bacteria to flourish in. Age groups that have low-acidity markers are children and aged people. Gastric surgery survivors and antacid takers, suffering from ulcers, are also prone to getting cholera.

Person-to-person contact. Sharing the same living space with a cholera victim increases the chance of others contracting the disease. Statistics report up to 50% of household members become infected.

Weakened immunity. Compromised immune systems, such as what AIDS produces, are more prone to getting the illness.

Type O blood. People with this blood type have a 50% probability of becoming infected with cholera.

Shellfish risk. The cholera bacteria can make contact with the surfaces of all shellfish, including crab and shrimp. If served raw or under-cooked, bacteria may have formed and can infect those who consume the shellfish.

Underdeveloped nations. For the last forty years, cholera has been spreading in epidemic proportions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Movement of large populations of people to cities overload the clean water supply and stress sanitation systems.

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