The number of cholera cases reported in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana has increased from 3,600 to 5,000 with 45 deaths since July this year.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal illness caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae that can result in a profound and rapidly progressive dehydration and death.
Ingestion of water and food contaminated by infected human faeces is the common means of acquiring the disease.
The main symptoms are profuse painless watery diarrhoea without fever and (often) with vomiting of clear fluid.
These symptoms usually start suddenly, one to five days after ingestion of the bacteria.
The diarrhoea is frequently described as “rice water” in nature and may have a fishy odour or somewhat sweet inoffensive odour.
An untreated person with cholera may produce 10-20 litres of diarrhoea a day with fatal results.