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Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by consumingcontaminated food or water.

Not everyone who becomes infected will develop symptoms, but those who do will usually experience:

These symptoms generally develop within a few days of infection, although they can sometimes occur after just a few hours.

Without treatment, the combination of diarrhoea and vomiting can cause a person to quickly become dehydrated and go into shock (where there’s a sudden massive drop in blood pressure). In the most severe cases, cholera can be fatal.

At-risk areas

Cholera can spread if food and, in particular, water become contaminated with the stools of an infected person. This is why cholera is most widespread in regions of the world with poor sanitation, such as parts of:

  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • south and south-east Asia
  • the Middle East
  • central America and the Caribbean

Mass outbreaks of cholera often occur after natural disasters or during war, as a result of overcrowding in poor living conditions and a lack of access to clean water.

The World Health Organizationestimates that there are 1.4 to 4.3 million cases of cholera worldwide every year. The condition is also responsible for many thousands of deaths.



Know the signs and symptoms of Cholera. Mostly they are diarrhoea and vomiting of clear-like fluids.

  • These usually start about 1-5 days after bacteria ingestion.
  • Fevers aren’t common, but sometimes indicate a secondary infection. Blood pressure is also low do to about 10–15 liters (3–4 US gal) of water being expelled per day.
  • Kussmaul breathing(deep and laboured) can be indicators, also muscle cramping and weakness.
  • In the severe cases the patient turns blue from lack of a large amount of fluids.

2. Identify the source of the disease.Cholera is usually spread through unsanitary drinking water supplies and facial contamination, so this would be a reasonable first choice to investigate.Check the condition of waste disposal methods at the location of a possible cholera outbreak. Making sure that sewage discharge is adequately treated and disposed of will decrease the potential for spread of the disease.Cholera in the developed world is usually due to food, more specifically the seafood plankton and shellfish.



Isolate victims and provide medical care. Although cholera is not as communicable as some other diseases, keeping those suffering from the disease from contact with the general public will reduce the chance of spread.

  • Use PPE when in contact with them and dispose of their faeces properly to stop more infection.
  • People with medical training should have access to the person to give them proper medical care.
  • The person should be told to drink water and fluids. Babies should be breastfed or given a bottle even if the person is travelling for treatment.

4. Create sanitary conditions in areas where a cholera outbreak is possible.Even if only rudimentary latrines are utilized, keeping the waste contained and out of potential water sources is of the utmost importance.Everything that is suspected for contamination or that was in contact with a person with Cholera should be sterilized or disposed.Use sterilized water, bottled water, or water from another trusted source if possible during a cholera outbreak. Boil water if you have to.Wash your hands and peel vegetables.Food should be cooked well, especially seafood and meats. Food should be hot all the way through before ready and all food should be covered until you are ready to eat.

5. Get the Vaccine. The Cholera vaccines take weeks to work and thus should not take over the above methods. They also have incomplete protection over a short time.Dukoral is licensed by the WHO and in 60 countries. Is 52% effective in the first year and 60% in the second.Shanchol is licensed in India and pending licensing by the WHO.Defecation should be buried at least 30 meters (98.4 ft) from every water source or use a latrine.