Cholera is an intestinal illness that results when someone becomes infected with the Vibrio cholera bacterium. The disease is not passed from person to person; infection occurs when someone consumes food or water that has become contaminated with the bacteria. Only a few cases have been reported in the United States in recent years; however, cholera is still common in areas of the world where endemics are occurring.
Most people experience either no cholera symptoms or very mild ones. In more severe cases, however, serious diarrhea and vomiting can occur. Fortunately, the disease is easy to treat with antibiotics and fluid replacement therapy once a diagnosis is made.
(For more information, click Cholera. This article talks about how this disease is diagnosed, what the usual prognosis is, how many cases occur worldwide, and more.)