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Cholera VS Polio. What Do You Think is Worse?

Updated on September 15, 2017


Poliomyelitis shortened polio is caused by the polio virus. Polio can come in a few different forms, there is a non-paralytic polio where you might be infected but with no serious symptoms other than headaches, vomiting and symptoms of fever.

Then there is paralytic polio this is polio as we know it where it affects the spine and potentially the brain stem, any area of the spine affected will affect muscles that they inner which will lead to muscle spasms flaccid paralysis and in some cases complete paralysis.

Even for those who survive an acute attack, there's still a chance for the development of post-polio syndrome the resurgence of paralytic symptoms years afterwards. There is no specific treatment for polio, however an effective vaccine was developed in 1952 and after its widespread global use, the number of cases worldwide have decreased exponentially.

Polio is targeted to become globally eradicated and many regions in the world are already declared polio-free, this gives the illusion that polio is a thing of the past, it is not.

August 2016 should have been a historic day for Africa as it would have marked two years since anyone last contracted polio on the continent. However two cases suddenly appeared that month in Nigeria in the country's northeastern borno state two children were found to be paralyzed by the disease, the fact that parts of the area are controlled by Boko Haram militants make efforts to contain and control the disease much more difficult. Other countries seeing similar outbreaks are Afghanistan, Pakistan, and surprisingly Ukraine this could be seen as a grave danger as more people are being negligent toward vaccination efforts.


Cholera was once considered a deadly disease and once outbreaks occurred it had the potential to infect and kill large numbers in a short time, caused by the bacterium vibrio cholerae the disease kills by causing severe dehydration through watery diarrhea and vomiting.

A patient with severe cholera can lose up to one liter of fluids every hour it starts with mere symptoms of dehydration but once they lose up to eight liters which is 20% of total body fluids the major organs and systems begin to shut down untreated the patient could die in less than a day.

Every drop of fluid from their excrement is brimming with bacteria showing just how easily the disease could spread from just one case to hundreds or thousands. The first recorded outbreak began at the Indian subcontinent in the early 1800s as trade routes and travel became more widespread the disease made its way to Europe, North America and the rest of the world killing tens of millions of people in the last two centuries.

But through the advancements of healthcare such as the development of a cholera vaccine and proper sanitation, filtering and chlorination of water supplies the disease no longer became much of a threat. However the disease seems to be making its way back after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti the country experienced the worst cholera epidemic in recent history over the course of two years 7,000 have died and hundreds of thousands more have been infected and even spread to neighboring Cuba and Dominican Republic.

. This is made even worse by Hades tropical climate that is conductive to the bacteria in cases spiked every year after rainy seasons. Studies have shown that global warming plays a big role in cholera's resurgence, research was found that as the surface temperature of the ocean increased so did the number of lethal bacteria found in the collected plankton samples.

Now, what do you think is worse? being infected by Colera or Polio ?


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