THE cholera is reappearing in its deadliest forma reality aggravated by the climate changesaccording to the World Health Organization (WHO)which even asks manufacturers of vaccines that increase their production in order to try to stop the occurrence of cases.
This disease is, according to CUFone infection of the small intestine caused by a bacterium (Vibrio Cholerae)which produces a toxin that stimulates the intestines to produce large amounts of a fluid rich in salts and minerals, causing very severe diarrhea. It’s a way of acute infectious diarrheawhich if untreated can lead to death in a few hours.
It is transmitted through ingestion of water, shellfish, or other food contaminated by the feces of infected people. It usually appears in certain regions of the Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with outbreaks occurring in the hot months. The incidence is higher among children.
What has changed in the last few months?
According to the director-general of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesusin the first nine months of 2022, 27 countries have recorded cholera outbreaks. According to him, not only are the number of outbreaks increasing, but they are also more fatal. According to WHO data, the average case fatality rate this year has already reached a value almost 3 times higher than the value of the previous five years.
“THE cholera thrives on poverty and conflict, but is now being fueled by climate change (…) Extreme weather events, such as floods, cyclones and droughts, further reduce access to clean water and create the ideal environment for the spread of cholera”, – said Tedros, at a press conference in Geneva.
In the last two months, more than 10,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in Syria. in Haitiafter three years with no cases, the capital Port Prince officially communicated two cases, in addition to another 20 suspects and 7 deaths that are being investigated. The WHO stresses that it is very possible that the actual number of cases is considerably higher.
according to Dr. Philippe Barbozaan epidemiologist at the health agency of the UNthere was no considerable change in the various aspects that, in general, favor the reproduction of cholera, such as war conflicts, humanitarian crises and poverty.
“What has changed significantly is the impact of climate change”noting that large meteorological phenomena, such as cyclones and droughts, affected several countries, and end up driving outbreaks beyond those that are normally seen.
Cholera can kill in a matter of hours
Cholera can kill in a few hoursbut it can be prevented with vaccines and access to clean water and sanitation. However, with the increasing number of outbreaks, the supply of vaccines does not meet the demand, and tedros asks the world’s leading vaccine manufacturers to increase their production.
However, the UNICEF says 1.2 million children in Port-au-Prince are at risk of contracting cholera. “Families cannot buy soap to wash their hands, garbage is not collected from the streets, hospitals are closed or unable to function. All these factors turned Haiti into a ticking time bomb. And now it exploded”said the UNICEF Representative in Haiti, Bruno Maes.
John Snow, the doctor who discovered how cholera was spread
In the 19th century, London (United Kingdom) was the main city in the world and, in the middle of that time, there was a cholera epidemic outbreakresponsible for the death of part of the population (in Soho district, mainly).
In 1854, John Snow, medical epidemiologistunhappy with the spread of disease and with the explanation given by the London authorities, he argued that the choleraactually it was ”caused by the ingestion of water contaminated with faecal matter, as it proved that the cases were clustered in areas where the water consumed was contaminated with faeces”.
At first, Snow was completely discredited by other scientists and the health authorities in London. His theory “has completely fallen to the ground.” thought that the transmission of the disease was by air, through breathing, due to the poor quality of the air in a sooty city of LondonO heart gives Industrial Revolution.
Trying to justify his theory, the epidemiologist had a scientific idea that would come to revolutionize the history of Science, especially in geographical terms.
He crossed two pieces of information: the number of cholera cases and deaths with the location of main water supply siteswhich showed the London public wells. And overlaid this information on a map of Soho.
What the doctor wanted to identify was the spatial distribution of the number of deaths caused by cholera and to verify if there was a correlation with the proximity to water wells.
Despite not having a background in Cartography, Snow knew, from experience, the city of London and with the application of this innovative technique of spatial analysishe found that the well in broad street It was the main source of contamination of the populationbecause it was located in area with the most reported cases of cholera.
An authentic (r)evolution for spatial analysis and for Geography
Snow had just proved that the origin and spread of the disease was closely related to contaminated water that was consumed from the city’s main wells.. To the Geographers and Geographythis is considered the first event that used the spatial analysis to answer a problem.