NEWS AND EVENTS

16/May/2019

WHAT IS CHOLERA? 

  • It is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated even to previously healthy people.

WHAT ARE ITS CAUSES?

  • It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.
  • The bacteria are usually found in food or water contaminated by feces from a person with the infection.

HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?

  • When a person consumes the contaminated food or water, the bacteria release a toxin in the intestines that produces severe diarrhea.
  • Therefore, it is highly unlikely that you will catch cholera just from casual contact with an infected person.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection and are as follows;
  1. severe watery diarrhea.
  2. Nausea and vomiting.
  3. Dehydration which may lead to a rapid loss of minerals in your blood (electrolytes) that maintain the balance of fluids in your body. This is called an electrolyte imbalance.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION? 

  1. Rapid heart rate
  2. Loss of skin elasticity (the ability to return to original position quickly if pinched)
  3. Dry mucous membranes, including the inside of the mouth, throat, nose, and eyelids
  4. Low blood pressure
  5. Thirst
  6. Muscle cramps

If left untreated, dehydration can lead to shock and death in a matter of hours

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

  • Although the symptoms are unmistakable, it is advisable to perform a cholera Antigen test that is later confirmed by a stool culture test

HOW CAN IT BE PREVENTED?

  • Yes, through vaccination that lasts for up to five years and observance of clean hygienic procedures.

 

HOW IS IT TREATED?

  • Cholera is highly treatable, but because dehydration can happen quickly, it’s important to get cholera treatment right away.
  • Hydration is the mainstay of treatment for cholera. Depending on how severe the diarrhea is, treatment will consist of oral or intravenous solutions to replace lost fluids.
  • Antibiotics, which kill the bacteria, are not part of emergency treatment for mild cases. But they can reduce the duration of diarrhea by half and also reduce the excretion of the bacteria, thus helping to prevent the spread of the disease.

 

Author:

Sal Mukinda, Lab Superintendent, IMH

References:

  1. The incubation period of cholera: a systematic review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23201968 Azman AS, Rudolph KE, Cummings DA, Lessler J. J Infect. 2013;66(5):432-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2012.11.013. PubMed PMID: 23201968; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3677557.
  2. Cholera Annual Report 2017 http://www.who.int/wer/2018/wer9338/en/
    Weekly Epidemiological Record 21 September 2018, Vol 93, 38 (pp 489-500).
  3. Debasish S, LaRocque RC. Cholera and Other Vibrios. In: McGill, A; Ryan, E; Hill, D; Solomon, T, eds. Hunter’s Tropical Medicine and Emerging Infectious Diseases. 9thed. New York: Saunders Elsevier; 2013: 448-453.
  4. David A Sack, Mohammed Ali. Protection from killed oral cholera vaccine continues for 4 years. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(18)30311-5/fulltext

 


06/Oct/2018

Pap smear procedure
  1. WHAT IS PAP SMEAR?

It is a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women that involves collecting cells from the cervix, the lower, narrow end of the uterus.

  1. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

It helps in early detection of cervical cancer, hence improving chances of cure.

A Pap smear also detects changes in the cervical cells that suggest cancer may develop in the future. Detecting these abnormal cells early with a Pap smear is the first step in halting the possible development of cervical cancer.

  1. WHY IS IT DONE?

To screen for cervical cancer.

The test is usually done in conjunction with a pelvic exam. In women older than age 30, the Pap test may be combined with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) — a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause cervical cancer. In some cases, the HPV test may be done instead of a Pap smear.

 

  1. WHO SHOULD DO A PAP SMEAR?

Any female above 21 years.

  1. HOW OFTEN SHOULD IT BE REPEATED?

Once every year. If combined with HPV test, the repeat can take even 5 years. However, depending on certain conditions, it can be repeated severally, of course with the doctor’s advice. These conditions include;

1.A diagnosis of cervical cancer or a Pap smear that showed precancerous cells

2.Exposure to some hormones eg. diethylstilbestrol (DES) before birth

3.HIV infection

4.Weakened immune system due to organ transplant, chemotherapy or chronic corticosteroid use

5.A history of smoking

6. WHEN SHOULD YOU STOP DOING THE TEST?

  1. After an hysterectomy (complete removal of the uterus and cervix)
  2. Old age i.e. 65 years and above.

AUTHOR:

Sally Gakii, Lab Superintendent, Imara Mediplus Hospital

Date posted: 6/10/18

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Smith RA, et al. Cancer screening in the United States, 2017: A review of current American Cancer Society guidelines and current issues in cancer screening. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2017;67:100.
  2. Curry SJ, et al. Screening for cervical cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2018;320:674.

Imara Mediplus Hospital

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The goal of The Imara Mediplus is to provide our clients with the all necessary services required to achieve both health and wellness. We seek to conveniently serve any person in need of friendly, professional, quality assured medical services, without the worry of cost.

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