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Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with
the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period, from less than one day to five days,
and produces an enterotoxin
Cholera remains a global threat and is one of the key indicators of social development. While the
no longer poses a threat to countries with minimum standards of hygiene, it remains a challenge to
countries where access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation cannot be guaranteed.
Almost every developing country faces cholera outbreaks or the threat of a cholera epidemic.
symptoms can include:
Sudden onset and large amounts of watery diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is usually painless.
Stool that has a characteristic "rice-water" appearance (grey, slightly cloudy with flecks of
As fluid is lost, other symptoms can occur, including:
Increased heart rate
Reduced urine production
Fever is not a symptom of cholera.
Replace the fluids that you have lost through diarrhoea. Your body will then usually fight off the
infection by itself. Oral rehydration therapy to replace lost salt and mineral homemade solutions
using sugar and salt
If symptoms are severe, GP may prescribe antibiotics to take, such as doxycycline and
tetracycline. These antibiotics can help control your diarrhoea and stop you losing any more fluids.
If you are very dehydrated you may need hospital treatment. You will have a drip inserted into a vein
in your hand or arm to give you fluids.
Chorea in the news
11 November 2010 Timely response by the Government of Haiti and humanitarian agencies to the
cholera outbreak in the country saved lives, with more than 11,000 patients having been treated in
hospitals since cases were first reported last month