Find out how to cope with Cholera And Typhoid Wave In Gaza – Outbreaks of infectious diseases are more likely when there is a lack of clean water, and health and sanitation services are disrupted. This is because people are more likely to be exposed to pathogens when they do not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities. In addition, when health services are disrupted, people may not be able to get the care they need to prevent or treat infectious diseases.
The Gaza Strip is a densely populated area with a poor infrastructure. The ongoing conflict in the region has further damaged infrastructure and made it difficult to provide essential services, such as clean water and sanitation. This has created a situation in which outbreaks of infectious diseases are more likely to occur.
Cholera and typhoid are two infectious diseases that are particularly common in areas with poor sanitation. Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is typically spread through contaminated food or water. Typhoid is caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi, which is also spread through contaminated food or water. Both diseases can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration, which can be fatal if not treated promptly.
Health agencies are warning that there is an impending cholera and typhoid wave in Gaza. This is due to the ongoing conflict and the lack of clean water and sanitation facilities. The agencies are calling for increased funding and resources to prevent and treat these diseases.
The Wave Situation In Gaza
Due to water and health system disruptions that raise the risk of disease epidemics, health organizations are warning the people of the Gaza Strip about an approaching public health emergency.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) issued a warning on November 9 regarding the unavoidable spread of waterborne illnesses like cholera and typhoid because of unhygienic conditions and contaminated water sources.
The IRC reports that while Israel continues its deadly bombing campaign, 95% of Gaza’s population lacks access to clean water, and 64% of the nation’s major healthcare facilities are closed.
Vice President of Emergencies at the IRC Bob Kitchen stated, “The conditions are ripe for the spread of communicable and waterborne diseases — diseases that adversely affect children and lead to preventable deaths.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on November 6 that a major increase in the spread of bacterial diseases, such as diarrhea, has resulted from desalination facilities closing and interrupting waste collection due to fuel scarcity.
Since mid-October 2023, over 33,551 cases of diarrhea have been reported.
More than half of these are among children under five, as opposed to an average of 2,000 cases per month among children under five in 2021 and 2022.
12,635 cases of skin rash, 1,005 cases of chickenpox, 8,944 cases of lice and scabies, and 54,866 cases of upper respiratory infections have also been reported.
The World Health Organization issued a warning, stating that interrupted routine immunization programs and a lack of medications to treat infectious diseases further increase the likelihood of an accelerated spread of disease.
Humanitarian aid must stop in order for supplies to reach the Gaza Strip, where Israel has been conducting strikes for more than a month in retaliation for the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas terrorists, as both the WHO and the IRC have stressed.
Is Cholera And Typhoid Deadly?
Yes, cholera and typhoid can be deadly if left untreated. Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It is typically spread through contaminated food or water. Symptoms of cholera include diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. If left untreated, cholera can lead to death within hours.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection that affects the small intestine. It is typically spread through contaminated food or water. Symptoms of typhoid include fever, headache, muscle aches, and loss of appetite. If left untreated, typhoid can lead to complications such as perforation of the intestine and meningitis.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cholera causes an estimated 21,000 to 143,000 deaths worldwide each year. Typhoid causes an estimated 160,000 to 600,000 deaths worldwide each year.
Both cholera and typhoid can be prevented with vaccination. There is a vaccine available for cholera that is effective for about two years. There are two vaccines available for typhoid: one that is effective for about three years and one that is effective for about five years.
Treatment for cholera and typhoid typically involves antibiotics and rehydration therapy. Rehydration therapy is essential for replacing fluids and electrolytes that are lost through diarrhea and vomiting. Antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria that cause the infections.
With prompt diagnosis and treatment, most people who contract cholera or typhoid survive. However, it is important to remember that these diseases can be deadly, especially in children and the elderly.
Here are some things that can be done to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases in Gaza:
- Provide clean water and sanitation facilities to all residents.
- Improve access to healthcare.
- Educate the public about the importance of hygiene and sanitation.
- Implement surveillance programs to detect outbreaks early.
- Develop a plan for responding to outbreaks.
By taking these steps, we can help to protect the health of the people of Gaza and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
How To Cope With This Wave In Gaza
Here are some tips on how to cope with the cholera and typhoid wave in Gaza:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. This is the most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
- Drink only bottled water or water that has been boiled. Do not drink water from the tap, as it may be contaminated.
- Eat only cooked food. Do not eat raw or undercooked food, as it may be contaminated with bacteria.
- Avoid contact with sick people. If you know someone who is sick with cholera or typhoid, avoid contact with them until they are no longer contagious.
- See a doctor immediately if you develop any symptoms of cholera or typhoid. Symptoms of cholera include diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Symptoms of typhoid include fever, headache, muscle aches, and loss of appetite.
In addition to these tips, there are a few other things you can do to protect yourself from cholera and typhoid:
- Get vaccinated against cholera. There is a vaccine available that can protect you from cholera.
- Make sure your food is cooked properly. Food should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them.
- Avoid eating food from street vendors. Street vendors may not be able to properly cook or store food, which could increase your risk of infection.