If we had hoped that the many occasions in which the mechanism was explained, The spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for Covid-19, has left some Awareness that the pathogen has its own way Infect people, you must realize that this is not the case. In fact, for a few days, with the increased interest, the news circulated in the media “In Mariupol there is a risk of a cholera epidemic caused by the many unburied corpses“. An image that certainly evokes horror and is moving for the horror it evokes, but it has nothing to do with the risk of epidemic staph or other cholera. diseases.
The rotting of human and animal corpses, in fact, is a disaster Wars and natural disasters accompany and come in an orderly fashion associated with ancient fears of epidemics. However, decomposition of corpses by itself does not cause infections in humans, because families of putrefaction spores immediately intervene and in fact eliminate the existing bacterial flora upon death. and risk of infection.
The culprit is the vibrio
Moreover, cholera is one of the infections less suitable to represent the specter of an out-of-control infection because it is not transmitted from person to person, but requires complex fecal-oral transmission. This means that you get sick only by ingesting water or food that Vibrio colonizes, provided that it reproduces until it reaches an infectious dose capable of overcoming the natural barriers of our organism.
(in our book my epidemics We talked about three epidemics of cholera, their causes and consequences for those affected by the disease. This entire chapter was posted by science on the internet In the preview on the occasion of the book’s release, it can be read here).
Cholera is an infection of the gut caused by Vibrio.cholera vibrio), An aquatic bacterium with a long tail, moving and multiplying in aquatic environments where it prefers to nest on the stern folds of small crustaceans. It sure was and still is the heroine of the great epidemic waves, especially in the last century, it has been proven to be transmitted from east to west via the strain known as El Tor. The Black Sea was also regularly affected by the El Tor phenomenon, and Crimea recorded several bouts of infection, and cases were reported in Mariupol only ten years ago.
But the responsible germ is still present in the area not enough. To get sick, a person must eat water or food Contaminated with fecal material of infected individuals (carriers who are sick, healthy or convalescing). The foods most at risk of disease transmission are those Raw or slightly cooked, especially seafood. Usually, however, the acids And saliva enzymes and more stomach acids are enough to Elimination of swallowed feelings. Therefore, in order to cause cholera, Vibrio needs a medium that not only protects it from acids, but also allows it to multiply inside it to reach and reach a high concentration of spores capable of overcoming and reaching the acidic barriers of our digestive system. The small alimentary canal is where their reproduction begins.
At this point, the vibrio releases its horrible toxin that causes a change in the natural pump of sodium and potassium ions and leads to violent diarrhea in which the infected patient emits billions of vibrations and sends them around the world. However, however, to infect others in turn, feelings must again find a biological intensifier, the classic example being mussels and seafood, to be able to actively multiply and enter the mouth protected and dangerous. The incubation period is about five days.
Treatment of cholera relies on intense rehydration: Oral or intravenous return of fluids and salts lost with diarrhea. Some antibiotics ease the course of the disease. Mortality is low (1%) but is directly proportional to the time and amount of rehydration treatment performed.
The situation in Ukraine and Mariupol
The destruction of normal water and sanitation services, typical of war, leads to the contamination of local aquifers and normal sources of water supply. This is the cause of the outbreak of diarrheal infection Fixed in refugee camps and makeshift camps where water safety cannot be guaranteed. This is why drinking water as well as washable water is necessary. Equally important are food safety, in particular the ban on foods that have potential vibroconcentrates, such as raw fish, shellfish and other fresh consumer foods potentially contaminated with feces.
The vast majority of pressure cholera infections are asymptomatic, in addition to rare cases of healthy virus carriers, so monitoring of people from cholera epidemic areas is essential.
This is not the case today, neither in Ukraine nor in Mariupol where there is no cholera, and if there was, it would be possible to intervene to restrict the affected area. Confirmative diagnosis of cholera is easy and also available in Ukraine By traditional methods of growing Vibrio, and by rapid microscopic methods. So there is no risk of refugees leaving the combat zones. Above all, let us leave alone the dead who bear no responsibility in the final appearance of the cholera outbreak.
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