Every day I hear rumours from people about the water sickness that's struck areas around our village. People are becoming sickened and some are even dying hours after coming down with symptoms, particularly young infants and children or the elderly/frail populations.
This disease, cholera, is not new. It has been around for several centuries, but seeing there is not much availability of doctors or hospital care here, people are dying. It is enough to put the fear of God in mankind ... or at least in our area of the world.
The symptoms of cholera are horrific: explosive, watery diarrhea up to five (or more) times a day, extreme abdominal cramping/pain, and frequent vomiting. Children, babies, and the elderly seem to suffer the most. It is especially prevelent when people consume unclean food supplies or drink dirty water, which seems to be the norm here. We don't have the faclities to clean our food or water; therefore, people become sick, which only makes a dire problem all the more so.
In my neighbourhood alone, over a dozen families have fallen prey to this cholera outbreak. I am most worried that my precious family (my wife Anita, and our children Vashti, Venkatesh, Chunarum, and little Sita) will be next. I must do everything possible to protect them.
People who know about cholera say that it is caused by a bacterium agent ; it is found in unclean water or food supplies. There is not much someone can do for the disease except give the victim fluids to drink or to get them to hospital if one is nearby; if not, then all they can do is pray and try to keep the victim quiet and/or comfortable. It is hardest on the babies or children or on the elderly; once they get sick, then that might as well be it: they will probably end up dying anyway.
I just pray and hope to the gods that my own family doesn' t fall victim to this horrid disease. It is bad enough hearing about friends or neighbours being sick; I don't know what I would do if my own family joined them!
~To be continued.~