Cholera Is Stoppable; Surprisingly It Is Unstoppable Menace In Ghana
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholera (V. cholerae). The bacterium V.cholerae, is a pathogen that has both human and environmental stages in its life cycle. The source of the bacteria is usually from the faeces of an infected person, and is spread generally through inadequate human waste disposal, contamination of food and water sources as well as poor personal hygiene. The disease is characterized by severe diarrhea and often accompanied by vomiting that may lead to death if not treated.
While the disease no longer poses a threat to countries with minimum standards of sanitation and hygiene, it remains a challenge to countries where access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation cannot be guaranteed.Most developing countries including Ghana experience cholera outbreaks or face the threat of a cholera epidemic every year.
The Biology of V. cholerae
Over 200 serogroups of cholera have been documented. However the toxigenic groups which cause epidemic cholera are the O1 and the O139 groups. Cholera toxin-producing (toxigenic) strains of the O1 and O139 serogroups cause the vast majority of the disease. The O1 serogroup is subdivided into two phenotypically distinct biotypes, El Tor and classical, the latter is associated with earlier pandemics. Both biotypes can be further subdivided into two serotypes, Inaba and Ogawa (both of which were detected in high numbers in studies done in 2013 in Shaibu, Old Fadama, Alajo and Bukom in Ghana). The 0139 serogroup was not detected in the studies in the four communities in Accra.In the past 20 years, El Tor has replaced the classical biotype;