cholera treatment and zinc supplements

Cholera is epidemic throughout the countries where the water supply is suspect. More than 3 million cases occur each year world wide of whom 100,000 die. The individuals who contact this problem are often malnourished and marginally zinc deficient before they develop this further mishap.
The mild cases are treated with oral dehydration with rice water being the commonest reliable treatment.
Severe case are treated in addition with anti-biotics.
A trial in Bangladesh shows tht30 mg a day of zinc supplementation reduces the period of diarrhoea and stool output.
Roy et al 2008, Zinc supplementation in children with cholera in Bangladesh: randomised controlled trial. BMJ vol 336, 266-268
Comment Lazzerini 2008 Zinc supplements for severe cholera are simple, well tolerated and could save money as well as lives. BMJ vol 336, 227-228.

Martin Eastwood
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