Ist Cholera Case in Port Moresby General Hospital

The PNG Health Department has just confirmed the first cholera case at Port Moresby General Hospital.

While the hospital is working with the National Capital District Commission's Health Adviser, to use one of the health facilities in the city, to isolate any further incidents, people should be extra cautious.

Please take time to have a read:

' The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but sometimes it can be severe. It's characterized by watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps, and results in rapid loss of body fluids, leading to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

A person may get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated by the cholera bacterium. In an epidemic, the source of the contamination is usually the feaces of an infected person.

The cholera bacterium may also live in the environment in brackish rivers and coastal waters. Shellfish eaten raw have been a source of cholera.

Drink only water that you have boiled or treated with chlorine or iodine. Other safe beverages include tea and coffee made with boiled water and carbonated, bottled beverages with no ice.
Eat only foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot, or fruit that you have peeled yourself.
Avoid undercooked or raw fish or shellfish. 

Make sure all vegetables are cooked AND AVOID SALADS!
AVOID foods and beverages from street vendors.

A simple rule of thumb is "Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it. "

Cholera can be simply and successfully treated by immediate replacement of the fluid and salts lost through diarrhea. People can be treated with oral re-hydration solution, a prepackaged mixture of sugar and salts to be mixed with water and drunk in large amounts. This solution is used throughout the world to treat diarrhea. Severe cases also require intravenous fluid replacement. With prompt re-hydration, fewer than 1% of cholera patients die.

Antibiotics shorten the course and diminish the severity of the illness, but they are not as important as re-hydration. Persons who develop severe diarrhea and vomiting should seek medical attention promptly'.



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