Diarrhea Home > Cholera Diagnosis

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.

An Overview of Making a Cholera Diagnosis

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.

Using a Stool Sample to Diagnose Cholera

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.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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