The largest known cholera epidemic is raging in Yemen. Almost 2,000 died of it, 5,000 are newly infected every day.
Cholera means “bile diarrhea”. The cause is an infection with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which particularly devastates the small intestine.
How do people become infected?
The bacteria usually spread in polluted water and contaminated food.
What are the symptoms?
Cholera is characterized by extreme diarrhea and vomiting. Blue spots cover the body. The sick lose a lot of weight very quickly. The body dries up.
The distribution of water is mainly organized by electrolytes. Sodium controls extracellular fluid like blood volume. If the liquid disappears, the electrolyte system breaks down. There is a risk to life.
Cholera sufferers have to drink mineral water all the time in order to slow the loss of fluid.
Without treatment, 20% to 70% of all sufferers die.
Yemen is the poorest house in Arabia. Corrupt dictators, Islamist terror and civil war, as well as a war of aggression against Saudi Arabia against the Shiites in Yemen make life hell on earth.
The terror of the Wahhabi Saudis and their western allies has destroyed more than half of all hospitals in Yemen. Every second person in Yemen lives without any medical care and is helplessly exposed to epidemics.
Plague without limits
Nigel Timmins, the head of emergency aid in Yemen, says: "In Yemen, more people have contracted cholera in just three months than in any other country within a year."
Easy to handle
The cynical thing about it is. Cholera is easy to treat. Cholera patients are treated with an oral rehydration solution. This consists of glucose and electrolytes in water.
Mortality rate drops to 1%
Instead of up to 70%, only about 1% of the patients die with such a treatment. Most of the 2,000 people who have died so far would most likely have survived.
No southern epidemic
Cholera does not spread through the climate, but through dirty water and catastrophic hygiene. The epidemic has therefore disappeared in western capital states. The bacteria can be controlled, the drinking water is clean, the waste water is clarified.
No problem in the West
Vaccinations against the disease are just as standard in Europe as rehydration plus antibiotics.
The pathogen is rampant in Asia and Africa
The situation is different in many countries in Asia and Africa, in India, Tanzania or Yemen.
Drinking water is often contaminated with the cholera pathogen, and it spreads through feces in river, sea and groundwater. Fish that locals catch from the contaminated water also infect people.
Horror in Yemen
Yemen is better suited to the spread of cholera and other diseases than most countries in the world: the majority of people are malnourished and the body's immune system is disrupted.
Worse than in the Middle Ages
There is hardly any medical care and no charitable infrastructure. Due to war and poverty, the hygienic conditions are worse than in the European Middle Ages. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)