Cholera is a bacterial infection which affects the small intestine and is caught via ingestion of contaminated water. It can also be caused by eating food that has been in contact with water contaminated with cholera bacteria. The effects vary from person to person, with some developing no symptoms initially, but cholera usually causes diarrhoea and nausea. Stomach cramps are also common. These symptoms manifest within a few hours in some cases, but usually take a few days to appear in those infected.
Cholera is predominant in places with poor sanitation such as parts of Africa, Asia and Central America. Travellers should keep this in mind and stick to drinking bottled water to avoid contracting this infection. Avoid uncooked fruit and veg unless preparing it yourself, and avoid seafood when dining. The infection is preventable if travellers are vaccinated before visiting areas where there is low sanitation. If there is a failure to diagnose cholera in a patient, the symptoms will progress, causing dehydration and eventual shock. The illness can be treated with sachets of salts and glucose mixed with water to prevent dehydration. This may be combined with antibiotics to treat the infection itself.
Complications if left undiagnosed
Cholera can result in dehydration as mentioned, but it can also be followed by a massive drop in blood pressure if untreated. Your GP should question you to determine if you have recently travelled anywhere that has poor sanitation. More severe cases of cholera can become fatal, particularly if they are not diagnosed correctly in the first instance and treatment is delayed. A failure to diagnose cholera may be because your doctor has not inquired about your recent travel or because a doctor fails to consider cholera as a possible diagnosis. Where there is evidence that medical negligence has taken place, you may be able to make a compensation claim.
How to begin the claims process
For the best chance of winning a cash payout, you may want to consider representation. Accident Advice Helpline has a team of solicitors who are experts in helping victims of medical negligence and can help you to gather the evidence you need to make your case. The no win no fee* policy we offer means you will not put a strain on your own finances to pursue your claim with us. Take our online 30-second test to determine how successful your claim is likely to be. Alternatively, give our team a call on our 24-hour helpline – 0800 689 0500 – for one-to-one advice.