Cholera seems to be a disease that many people have forgotten. But you need to take precaution and protect against this deadly infection especially when traveling outside the United States or outside your familiar territory for longer than a week. It is a severe form of gastroenteritis caused by an organism called "Vibrio Cholerae". This infection can happen very quickly and unexpectedly and you may think you have upset stomach, indigestion or diarrhea. The following information are the important facts about cholera that you need to know in order to protect yourself and loved ones against this deadly infection.

Signs & Symptoms: If infected you will have frequent, voluminous watery diarrhea.This diarrhea can rapidly dehydrate a person and can result to death. 

Transmission: Cholera is a water-borne disease because the causative agent, Vibrio Cholerae, survives well in water. If you drink dirty contaminated water or live in an area with poor sanitation you may be susceptible to cholera. Also if your water source eg. bore-hole is not well treated, or there is lack of sewage treatment, your water and food supply may be contaminated.

Treatment: (1) Fluid replacement to prevent dehydration and electrolyte replacement is very important. You must find clean drinking water for the patient as soon as possible; this should actually be a matter of urgency. 

(2) Antibiotics may or may not be indicated depending on the severity of the infection. Doxycycline and Ciprofloxacin are the main drugs that are commonly prescribed to shorten the duration of the illness. 


1. Boiling of water or treatment with chlorine will help sterilize your drinking water.

2. Buying bottled water from a known reputable company should be safe.

3. When in endemic area make sure food is well cooked and served hot to reduce the risk of cholera.

4. Hand washing, I mean proper hand washing with soap and clean water and frequent use of hand sterilizers is an important preventive measure. Please take the time to teach your children the proper steps in hand washing, even some adults don't know how to wash hands. Hand washing has been shown to be an important step in prevention of a lot of infections, it should be done with soap, running water, scrubbing of hands together for at least 30 seconds, do not rush through hand washing.

5. Be very careful bathing or swimming in pools in countries with inadequate water supply or poor sanitary condition because they are a source of Vibrio Cholerae, the causative agent for cholera.

6. After visiting any country in which cholera is common and you come down with abdominal cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy or weakness, you need to contact the nearest emergency room or see your personal physician immediately. Do not rely on home remedy or try to self medicate yourself.


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