Cholera is an extreme form of diarrhoeal infection resulting in alarming depletion of body fluids. It is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which enters the mouth through contaminated food or water. Cholera leads to severe dehydration and death if untreated. According to the WHO, ‘there are an estimated 1.4 to 4.3 million cholera cases and 28,000–142,000 deaths due to cholera, annually. The short incubation period of two hours to five days, enhances the potentially explosive pattern of outbreaks’.


Severe and uncontrollable watery diarrhoea with nausea and vomiting. Visit health24 for more details, which will help you to differentiate it from other forms of diarrhoea.


Since Cholera is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, it is easy to control and prevent this highly infective disease by blocking this route.

What you can do?

Ensure good personal hygiene. Use safe drinking water. Boiled and cooled water is good. The drinking glass/bottle must be clean. Avoid drinking water from a common glass or a bottle. The Indian (South Asia)way of holding the bottle or glass above the mouth without touching the lips is hygienic and laudable. Wash your hands with soap after using the toilet. Wash hands before eating and before cooking food. Thoroughly wash vegetable items that are eaten uncooked such as fruits. Avoid eating uncooked or half-cooked non-vegetarian items.


Consult your doctor immediately.

World Health Organization states that ‘Cholera is an easily treatable disease. Up to 80% of people can be treated successfully through prompt administration of oral rehydration salts (WHO/UNICEF ORS standard sachet). Very severely dehydrated patients require administration of intravenous fluids. Such patients also require appropriate antibiotics to diminish the duration of diarrhoea, reduce the volume of rehydration fluids needed, and shorten the duration of V. cholerae excretion.

Other common contagious diseases dealt with in this website are:

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