Diarrhea Home > Cholera -- The Disease

The disease cholera occurs when a person becomes infected with the Vibrio cholera bacterium. It does not present much of a threat anymore in the United States, but travelers to parts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America should take steps to prevent it.
Cholera is not generally spread directly from person to person; rather, it is transmitted by coming into contact with food or water that has become contaminated with the bacteria. Symptoms typically occur within 24 to 48 hours of becoming infected, and are often mild. Diarrhea and vomiting are common signs of the disease.
Once a cholera diagnosis is made, treatment begins, which generally consists of antibiotics and fluid replacement therapy. With treatment, this disease is rarely fatal; without treatment, however, the mortality rate is between 25 percent and 50 percent.
(Click Cholera to learn more about this disease, including prevention methods, how common it is worldwide, how a diagnosis is made, and more.)
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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