A Benin-based pediatrician, Samuel Ikponwonsa, has advised that fruits should be properly washed with clean water before eating to avoid cholera infection.
Mr Ikponwonsa gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Benin.
According to him, cholera is an acute diarrhea infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium, vibrio cholerae.
He said cholera remained a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development.
“The disease is most common in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war zones and during famine.
“Vibrio cholera, the bacterium that causes cholera is usually found in food or water contaminated by faeces from a person with the infection.
“Common sources include municipal water supplies, ice made from municipal water, foods and drinks sold by street vendors, vegetables grown with water containing human wastes.
“Others are raw or undercooked fish and seafood caught in waters polluted with sewage,” he said.
Mr Ikponwosa explained that when a contaminated food or water is taken, the bacteria would release a toxin in the intestines that would produce severe diarrhea.
“Symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection.
“Often, symptoms are mild but sometimes they are very serious. About one in 20 people infected have severe watery diarrhea accompanied by vomiting, which can quickly lead to dehydration.
“Although, many infected people may have minimal or no symptoms, they can still contribute to the spread of the infection,” he said.
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