What is Cholera, Causes and Symptoms of Cholera


  • Posted on- Feb 11, 2017
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Cholera is a fatal bacterial disease caused primarily due to the intake of polluted water. Cholera leads to watery diarrhoea, loss of fluids and electrolytes and rapid dehydration. It is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera. Lack of proper sewage and water treatment gives birth to this severe bacterial disease. The areas prone to poverty or natural disasters are at higher risk of Cholera breakout due to no arrangement of suitable sanitation. Drinking contaminated water can even lead to sudden death of an individual. There are more than 5 million cases of cholera in India every year.

Know the risk of Cholera

The risk factors that contribute to cholera are:

  • The absence of proper sanitation and sewage system
  • Low level of stomach acid
  • People with Type-O blood group are more likely to cholera
  • Poor and unclean household conditions
  • Eating uncooked shellfish 

Causes of Cholera

  • The prime cause of the cholera infection is coming in contact with, bacterium vibrio cholera. This cholera bacterium enters the body through mouth, often in contaminated water and food.
  • Cholera affects the inner lining of your stomach and attaches bacteria to the small intestine walls resulting in secretion of large amount of fluids and salts from the body, causing diarrhoea.
  • Eating unwashed and uncooked fruits, vegetables and seafood can also cause cholera.


Most of the people detected with cholera do not become ill instantly. One out of 10 cases of cholera show sudden severe impacts. Visible symptoms of cholera can take 24 hours to 5 days to appear. Common symptoms of cholera include:


A doctor can be consulted for the treatment of cholera, who will suggest a stool test to determine bacteria your body and then prescribing medications accordingly. Methods for the treatment of cholera are listed below: 

  • Antibiotics
  • ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution )
  • Zinc capsules
  • Drinking only boiled water

Preventing Cholera

Here are the few common tips that can help you in preventing cholera and its ill effects.
  • Avoid excessive intake of dairy products
  • Wash hands before eating
  • Wash fruits and vegetables with warm water prefer eating fruits, which you can peel yourself
  • Avoid seafood


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