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What is Cholera?
· Cholera is an infection of the small intestine,
spread by the ingestion of water or food
contaminated with faecal material containing
the pathogen. Such contamination can occur
due to:
· Drinking water not properly purified
· Untreated sewage in water courses
· Food contaminated in preparation
· Organisms feeding on untreated sewage
released into rivers or seas.…read more

Slide 3

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What causes it?
· Cholera is caused by the
pathogen Vibrio Cholerae
which, when ingested,
causes the symptoms of
the disease.
· The pathogen enters the
body and disrupts the
functions of the cell
membrane through release
of toxins to create a
concentration imbalance
and so therefore a loss of
water from the body.…read more

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How does the bacteria cause the
1. Bacteria is ingested, most destroyed in acidic stomach
2. A few survive and reproduce, reaching small intestine
3. Using the flagella, the bacteria propel themselves through
the lining of the intestine wall
4. On reaching the cell membrane, they release toxins that
open the ion channel and release chloride ions
5. This causes the concentration balance to change and the
lumen gains a lower water potential, causing water to flow
6. Loss of water from cells creates a concentration gradient,
water moves by osmosis into blood, creating the symptoms
of Cholera…read more

Slide 5

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What are the symptoms?
· The symptoms of Cholera are caused by the
loss of water due to the imbalance in the
concentration gradient. They include:
· Dehydration
· Diarrhoea
· Vomiting
· Muscle Cramps…read more

Slide 6

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How can it be treated?
· Oral Rehydration Therapy is the most
common treatment for cholera as it deals
with both the diarrhoea and the
· As a result of diarrhoea, excess water is lost
from the body, leading to dehydration. This
can be fatal.
· Oral Rehydration Therapy is a way of safely
replacing lost fluids without the need for
trained personnel to do so intravenously.…read more

Slide 7

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