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Cholera - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Cholera?

Cholera is a very infectious disease which is characterized by watery and severe diarrhea. This can lead to dehydration and death in severe cases. It is generally caused by drinking water or food that contains a form of bacteria known as Vibrio cholerae. Cholera is very common in places affected by famines, war, crowding and poor sanitation. It is very common in places such as Latin America, South Asia and Africa.

What causes Cholera?

The bacteria which causes cholera is found in water or food contaminated by the infected person’s feces. Sources of contaminated food and water include, municipal water supplies, ice which is made from contaminated municipal water, drinks & food sold by street hawkers, vegetables which are grown by contaminated water and consuming undercooked or raw seafood & fish caught from the sewage water.Usually when a person consumes contaminated water or food, the bacteria releases a harmful toxin inside the intestines which causes acute diarrhea. Cholera cannot be spread by casual contact with an affected person. If not treated on time, it can lead to dehydration resulting to death in just a few hours.Cholera can be an epidemic in places which have inadequate availability of sanitation facilities and clean water. Areas such as refugee camps a peri-urban slums are at a higher risk of a Cholera outbreak. This usually occurs because sanitation and requirements for clean water is not available.


A vaccine has been developed for the prevention of Cholera, but it lasts only for a few months. However, Cholera can be prevented by consuming water that is boiled, sterilized and disinfected. Commercial chemical disinfectant can also be used to filter water. It is advisable to use this water for the following purpose such as:

  • Washing vegetables and fruits.
  • Washing utensils and dishes which are used to prepare or eat food.
  • Brushing or flossing your teeth.
  • Making ice
  • Preparing drinks or food
  • Drinking
  • It is vital to prevent consuming products such as:

    • Fish which is caught in the tropical reefs that can be contaminated.
    • Undercooked or raw shellfish or meat.
    • Unpasteurized milk products or meat.
    • Unpeeled vegetables and fruits.

    Generally, the doctor prescribes treatments which focus on keeping you hydrated. The treatment also depends on the severity of the diarrhea. Antibiotic and intravenous fluids which kill the bacteria is usually prescribed. These medicines also prevent the spread of cholera.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test required Spread through the air or contaminated surfaces
Rapid heart rate Loss of elasticity of the skin Dry membrane which forms on the eyelids, nose, throat and mouth Low blood pressure Muscle cramps Thirst

Popular Health Tips

Diploma in Diet and Nutrition, BHMS
Homeopath, Mumbai
Homeopathic medicine has been proven extremely effective in Epidemics such as cholera, typhoid, diptheria, yellow fever, polio and influenza and used extensively in the 19th century
7 people found this helpful


MD - Pulmonary, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
One should avoid eating cut fruits and vegitable at this time os season to avoid Jaundice, typhoid, gatroenteritis and cholera.
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Homeopath, Pune
Chikungunya In Kerala, India, a group of doctors distributed a homeopathic preventative for chikungunya. The results of the study showed that while over 73 % contracted chikungunya in the unprotected group, only 17% of the protected group contract...

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Travelers to Nepal must take precautions to prevent cholera Post earthquake the biggest fear is cholera epidemic. One must learn lessons from the Haitri cholera epidemic where ten months after the largest urban disaster in modern history, a devast...

Some Tips from Ayurveda (7)

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Ahmedabad
Some Tips from Ayurveda (7)
Some tips from Ayurveda (7) 1. Luecoderma - In all types of skin diseases take Deccoction on Maha Manjisthadi kwath 10 ml twice a day and use Catechu Powder for internal and external Use. 2. Cholera Keep to take lots on lemon Sharbat and Sanjivani...

Popular Questions & Answers

What are the symptoms of cholera disease? What are the prevention should be taken for it.

Internal Medicine Specialist, Kendujhar
Hello, Thanks for your query on Lybrate "As"per your clinical history is concerned the common symptoms for this disease is Diarrhea,Nausea and vomiting and Dehydration. For prevention you can do like this - 1)Wash hands with soap and water frequen...

HI, I want to know Why tetracycline use in cholera though diarrhoea is major side effect?

MBBS(Gold Medalist), MD - Internal Medicine, PGP - Diabetes, CC Diabetes
Diabetologist, Ghaziabad
tetracycline is the drug of choice for the pathogen causing cholera. diarrhoea may be the side effect but is not very frequent
1 person found this helpful

What are the symptoms of cholera. How can we prevent ourselves from this disease.

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Key symptoms are diarrhoea and dehydration. Rarely, shock and seizures may occur in severe cases. People may experience: Pain areas: in the abdomen or rectum Gastrointestinal: severe diarrhoea, watery diarrhoea, nausea, severe vomiting, or vomitin...