Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that causes a large amount of watery diarrhea.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The bacteria releases a toxin that causes increased release of water in the intestines, which produces severe diarrhea. Cholera occurs in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war, and famine. Common locations for cholera include:      Africa Asia India Mexico South and Central America

People get the infection by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. A type of vibrio bacteria also has been associated with shellfish, especially raw oysters. Risk factors include:                  Exposure to contaminated or untreated drinking water Living in or traveling to areas where there is cholera

Symptoms
Abdominal cramps Dry mucus membranes or mouth Dry skin Excessive thirst Glassy or sunken eyes Lack of tears Lethargy Low urine output Nausea Rapid dehydration Rapid pulse (heart rate) Sunken "soft spots" (fontanelles) in infants Unusual sleepiness or tiredness Vomiting Watery diarrhea that starts suddenly and has a "fishy" odor

Note: Symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

(Such a vaccine is not available in the United States.S.) Travelers should always take precautions with food and drinking water. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend cholera vaccines for most travelers. Given adequate fluids. Depending on your condition. . even if vaccinated. most people will make a full recovery. Complications   Severe dehydration Death Calling your health care provider Call your health care provider if :   You develop severe watery diarrhea You have signs of dehydration. This solution of sugar and electrolytes is now being used internationally. Expectations (prognosis) Severe dehydration can cause death. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an oral rehydration solution that is cheaper and easier to use than the typical intravenous fluid. you may be given fluids by mouth or through a vein (intravenous). Antibiotics may shorten the time you feel ill.Signs and tests Tests that may be done include:   Blood culture Stool culture Treatment The objective of treatment is to replace fluid and electrolytes lost through diarrhea. including:           Dry mouth Dry skin "Glassy" eyes Lethargy No tears Rapid pulse Reduced or no urine Sunken eyes Thirst Unusual sleepiness or tiredness Prevention The U.

7th ed. . Department of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve.M. Inc. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. References 1. Medical Director. Vorvick. Assistant in Medicine. and sanitation. because vaccination is not very effective in managing outbreaks. Dolin R. Bennett JE. MD. Jatin M. In: Mandell GL. Gotuzzo E. MD. food. University of Washington. Vyas. Massachusetts General Hospital. MHA. Vibrio cholera. MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies. Reviewed by: Linda J. Division of Infectious Disease. Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone. Seas C. MD.When outbreaks of cholera occur. A.D. PhD.A. Philadelphia.. School of Medicine. eds. 2009:chap 214. efforts should be directed toward establishing clean water. Medical Director. Review Date: 5/25/2010. Assistant Professor in Medicine. Harvard Medical School.

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