When cholera is suspected, a doctor usually performs a physical exam to look for signs of the disease. The doctor will also ask a number of questions about the patient's medical history. In order to confirm the diagnosis of cholera, the doctor will most likely look at a stool sample under a microscope as well.
In order to make a cholera diagnosis, the doctor will ask a number of questions about the following topics:
- Recent history of foods or drinks that have been consumed
- Recent travel history
- Current medical conditions
- Current medicines.
As part of making a diagnosis, the doctor will also perform a physical exam to look for signs of cholera and fluid loss. If the doctor suspects cholera, he or she will ask for a stool sample.
Looking at a stool sample under a microscope can help the doctor when making a diagnosis (see Pictures of Cholera). He or she will be looking for Vibrio cholerae (the bacteria that cause cholera) within the stool. The stool sample can also be sent to a laboratory for analysis.