This Web page contains several cholera facts (information about the causes and symptoms of cholera, for example). In this article, you will also find information on how to prevent and treat the condition.
The following cholera facts cover the history of the disease, as well as its cause, transmission, and treatment.
- Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by an infection with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, in the intestines.
- Since 1817, there have been seven worldwide cholera pandemics. In Asia, Africa, and Latin America, there is an ongoing pandemic that has spanned the last four decades.
- Because of advanced water and sanitation systems, cholera is not a major threat in the United States. However, everyone, especially travelers, should be aware of how cholera is transmitted and what can be done to prevent it.
- Cholera transmission typically occurs by drinking water or eating food that is contaminated with Vibrio cholerae.
- Although cholera can be serious, most infections with Vibrio cholerae are mild or do not result in cholera symptoms.
- Cholera symptoms can occur within 24 to 48 hours of being infected.
- If the doctor suspects cholera, he or she will ask for a stool sample in order to look for Vibrio cholerae bacteria.
- Without cholera treatment, serious infections can result in death within hours.
- Treatment for cholera typically includes antibiotics and fluid replacement. If treatment is started early, cholera symptoms and complications can be minimized.
- There is not a cholera vaccine recommended for the prevention of cholera in the United States.