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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is cholera?
Cholera is an infectious disease caused by the Vibrio cholera bacterium. It causes massive diarrhea in the people it infects.
How does a cholera infection occur?
The cholera bacterium moves between people via water contaminated by human fecal matter.
How common is cholera?
Cholera is a common disease in many parts of the world including India, Africa, South and Southeast Asia, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. Locations where sanitary conditions are poor due to natural disaster, war, civil strife or other emergencies …
What are the symptoms of cholera?
Cholera shows up mainly as severe diarrhea. Other symptoms of cholera include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, thirst, and a rapid heart rate.
How is cholera diagnosed?
Your doctor or other health professional will diagnose cholera by observing the clinical signs and by performing specific tests on stool samples.
How is cholera treated?
The main concern with a cholera infection is the quick dehydration it causes. An effective rehydration treatment, ideally using an oral rehydration solution (ORS), can prevent serious illness and death.
Is cholera serious?
Cholera can cause serious harm, including death, if it is not treated in time. For severe cases, treatment within hours of the onset of disease is crucial.
Can I prevent being infected with cholera?
The best protection against cholera is to prevent exposure. A cholera vaccine is available, but it is effective only for 2 to 3 years and only about 6 months in young children. It is recommended mainly for people who expect to be exposed to …
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 03 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 14 May 2019
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Votes: 310 (Click smiley face below left to rate)