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The clinical state and progress of 4,742 cholera patients admitted to two hospitals in Ibadan during a recent epidemic are reported. The epidemic took place during the “dry” season of the year and, although the influence of climate on cholera epidemics is uncertain, it is suggested that it would be wise to anticipate and prepare for a recurrence during the following dry season. The results obtained in Ibadan show that with adequate fluid replacement a case fatality rate of only 0.9% can be achieved in adults, even where patient load is very heavy. A case fatality rate of only 1.1% can be achieved in children. The importance of adequate potassium replacement is emphasized.
It is pointed out that where medical personnel are few in relation to the numbers of patients requiring treatment, non-medical personnel can rapidly be taught specific essential duties, and can form an invaluable part of the team undertaking patient care in emergency situations.
As a recurrence of the epidemic may be expected during the following dry season, it is suggested that the most important precaution is the preparation of adequate stocks of intravenous fluids: these should if possible include fluids already containing adequate amounts of potassium.