Tuesday December 11, 2018

Drinking Iced Tea Linked to Cholera Risk in Endemic Countries

More work is needed to determine why iced tea boosts the risk of cholera, but the researchers believe that the bacteria may be found in ice, which is often bought from street vendors

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iced tea
Drinking Iced Tea Can Up Risk of Cholera in Endemic Countries. Pixabya
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Drinking iced tea may increase risk of cholera in endemic countries because Vibrio cholerae, the bacteria which spreads the disease, might be present in ice as well, suggests new research from Vietnam.

The finding may have important implications in fighting the disease, the transmission of which is closely linked to inadequate access to clean water and it is often spread through contaminated drinking water.

“Along with traditional approaches that focus on enhancement of safe water, sanitation, and food safety, combined with periodic provision of oral cholera vaccines, a water quality monitoring system at ice-making plants should be established,” the researchers said.

After more than a decade of declining cholera incidence, Vietnam faced an increase in cases of the diarrhoeal disease during 2007-2010.

In the Ben Tre province of the Mekong Delta region in the southern part of Vietnam, no cholera cases were reported from 2005 until an outbreak in 2010.

In the new work, published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Thuong Vu Nguyen of the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, and colleagues interviewed 60 people who were confirmed to have been infected with cholera during the 2010 outbreak in Ben Tre, as well as 240 controls.

Iced Tea
Iced Tea. Pixabay

Information about each person’s eating and drinking behaviours and living environment was recorded.

The researchers also collected samples of nearby river water, drinking water, wastewater samples, and local seafood to test for Vibrio cholerae, the bacteria which spreads the disease.

The researchers found that drinking iced tea, not always boiling drinking water, having a main water source near a toilet, living with other who have diarrhoea, and having little or no education were all associated with an increased risk of cholera, while drinking stored rainwater, eating cooked seafood or steamed vegetables were protective against the disease.

The researchers found that 22 per cent of people with cholera reported drinking iced tea in the week prior to their disease, whereas only three per cent of controls had drank iced tea in the week before being interviewed.

Also Read: Alcohol May Increase Death Risk in Young TB Patients

Patients with cholera were also more likely to always put ice in their water and to use sedimented river water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and brushing their teeth.

More work is needed to determine why iced tea boosts the risk of cholera, but the researchers believe that the bacteria may be found in ice, which is often bought from street vendors. (Bollywood Country)

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Zimbabwe Government Aid in The Cholera Outbreak By Pledging Money

In 2008 and 2009, a cholera epidemic killed nearly 5,000 people.

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Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa talks to one of the cholera victims on Sept. 19, 2018 in Glen View’s Harare, epicenter of the waterborne disease. VOA

Zimbabwe’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, says his government will assist municipalities struggling to fight a cholera outbreak that has killed 32 people and affected more than 3,000 during the past three weeks.

After visiting the epicenter of the cholera outbreak in Harare, President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to help the Harare City Council with financial assistance and called on the corporate world to donate toward fighting the epidemic.

“We are raising money, which has been coming in daily, so that we fix the burst pipes at Morton Jeffery Waterworks and the Central Business District, as well as the suburbs… we have been told that most of these pipes are old and are bursting at any given time, so we have found some well-wishers who are helping us. We will continue to support the Harare City Council In its programs meant to sanitize Harare, because the council does not have enough powers to be doing all the work alone,” he said.

Zimbabwe Cholera
On Sept. 16, 2018, a vegetable vendor in Harare says she refuses to leave her business as she has no other sources of income with Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate said to be around 85 percent. VOA

Nearby, David Shonhiwa, a vendor in Glen View, the suburban epicenter of Harare’s cholera epidemic, says there have been improvements in the area’s hygiene since cholera was detected, but more are needed.

“The situation is better now. We have been receiving clean water and we got buckets, but it has not been possible for everyone to get something because there are difficulties which others have been encountering,” he said.

Zimbabwe Cholera
Sirak Gebrehiwot, United Nations spokesperson in Zimbabwe, says his organization has deployed three emergency situations specialists to access the situation. VOA

 

Tuesday, a U.N. spokesperson in Zimbabwe, Sirak Gebrehiwot, said a U.N. emergency response fund may be activated as the cholera outbreak spreads to other parts of the country.

“In light of the appeal announced by the government of Zimbabwe to respond to the cholera, the U.N. has scaled up its support,” said Gebrehiwot. “The regional office of the U.N. Humanitarian Affairs has already deployed three U.N. emergency humanitarian specialists in the ongoing response. This is in addition to our colleagues from UNICEF and the WHO, are already engaged on the ground in this emergency response.”

Also Read: Video- Zimbabwe’s Newly Appointed President Calls For Unity

In 2008 and 2009, a cholera epidemic killed nearly 5,000 people. It only stopped after international organizations such as USAID, Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross and U.N. agencies including UNICEF and the World Health Organization provided medicine and water treatment chemicals. (VOA)