On Friday the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the supply of oral cholera vaccines (OCV) from 2016 will double compared to the shortage of last year. The total number of supplies will increase to approximately six million doses. In addition the number is expected to increase later.
This happened thanks to the fact that EuBiologics, the South Korean company received approval from WHO in the context of the agency’s program of prequalification that provides the efficacy, safety and quality of vaccines and drugs. This measure has to purpose of helping nations fight deadly outbreaks if this serious disease.
The UN Health Agency said that cholera kills around 142.000 people annually among the number of patients who suffer from cholera each year, which is between 1.4 million and 4.3 million. Because of the last year’s global shortage Haiti and Sudan have asked the UN World Health Organization to supply their countries with an increased number of vaccines. However the request remained unanswered last year.
Cholera is an illness which involves acute diarrhea. It is caused by infection of the intestines with the Vibro Cholerae bacterium. The illness is endemic to over 50 countries and if left untreated it can kill those who suffer from it in only a couple of hours. The infection with the bacterium happens when eats or drinks contaminated food or water. The contamination occurs when an infected person’s feces somehow get into water and food.
Some patients might not exhibit any symptoms, whereas one in ten cholera patients experience watery diarrhea which might lead dehydration and shock, vomiting and leg cramps.
In order to keep themselves safe people are recommended to drink only water that is chemically treated, boiled or bottled. They should also wash their hands often with clean water and soap and even use hand cleaner which contains alcohol. As far as food is concerned it should be eaten hot and freshly cooked and kept packaged. People are not recommended to eat fruit, unpeeled vegetables, undercooked or raw meat or seafood.
The recent increase of cholera chases was associated with climate changes, especially El Nino which brings about droughts and flooding that are considered to increase the number of cholera outbreaks.
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