Shiken premium Upgrade Banner

Cholera is a kind of sickness that's caused by bacteria. You can get it just like you can get other illnesses like TB. The bacteria goes into your body and makes you sick. Even though you can get better from cholera, lots of people still die from it in countries that are still developing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that cholera is a big problem for the whole world and a sign that some countries are not as developed as others.

What is cholera?

Cholera is a sickness caused by a kind of bacteria called Vibrio Cholerae. If not treated, it can cause diarrhoea and death within hours. Sadly, around 3 million people get cholera every year and 100,000 die from it. Most cases happen in developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This is because cholera spreads through contaminated water and food, which is more common in these countries due to a lack of sanitation and hygiene. Even though the numbers are high, they might actually be higher as some countries don't report outbreaks in fear of hurting their economies. It's important to understand how cholera spreads to stop it from infecting more people. Cholera can't be spread directly from person to person, but it does spread through contaminated water and food. This is why it's so important to have clean water and good hygiene. By improving access to these things, we can help stop the spread of cholera and other diseases.

Causes of cholera

Cholera is a serious sickness caused by Vibrio Cholerae, a type of bacteria. People get sick from eating or drinking things that have been contaminated with this bacteria. Once it enters the body, it goes to the small intestine where it multiplies and releases a toxin called choleragen. This toxin causes diarrhoea and can be very dangerous if not treated. There are two strains of Vibrio Cholerae that can cause cholera outbreaks, but the O1 strain is the most common. This strain has caused many outbreaks since it was first discovered in India in the 19th century. Over the years, there have been seven pandemics of cholera that have killed millions of people around the world. The last pandemic started in South Asia in 1961 and has spread to many other countries. In 1992, a new strain called O139 was discovered in Bangladesh, but it hasn't caused a pandemic yet. It's important to be careful about what we eat and drink to avoid getting sick from cholera.

Cholera symptoms

Cholera is usually a mild to moderate infection, or it may not cause any symptoms at all in most people. However, even if someone doesn't have symptoms, they can still pass the bacteria through their faeces and spread it to others. About 1 in 10 people who get infected with cholera will develop severe symptoms, which can be life-threatening. Cholera can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. Symptoms usually appear between a few hours to up to 5 days after being exposed to the bacteria, and the average time is about 2-3 days. Those who experience severe symptoms may have watery diarrhoea (also called "rice water" diarrhoea), dehydration, vomiting, leg cramps, and weakness. The rapid loss of fluids from the body can be deadly, and without proper treatment, people can die within 24 hours. The time between exposure to the bacteria and the appearance of symptoms is called the incubation period. 

Cholera transmission

Cholera is an infectious disease caused by the Vibrio Cholerae bacteria. It is usually spread through contaminated water or food, often in areas with poor sanitation facilities. Most people who become infected with cholera have mild or no symptoms, but severe cases can lead to dehydration, shock, and even death. The disease is diagnosed by identifying the bacteria in a stool sample or rectal swab, and treatment usually involves rehydration therapy and antibiotics. Preventative measures include basic hygiene practices, such as washing hands before handling food, and avoiding raw or undercooked seafood. Oral cholera vaccines are also available, but they only provide short-term protection and should be used in conjunction with other preventative measures. To eradicate cholera, there needs to be a focus on developing infrastructure for clean water and sanitation facilities in developing countries, as well as promoting good hygiene practices.

Cholera is an infectious disease caused by Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which can be contracted through contaminated food or water. While many people who become infected show few or no symptoms, severe cases can cause dehydration, shock, and even death. The bacteria are spread through the feces of infected individuals and can contaminate water and food sources in areas with poor sanitation facilities. Treatment typically involves oral rehydration therapy to replace fluids lost through diarrhea and antibiotics for severe cases. Prevention strategies include basic hygiene practices and improving water and sanitation infrastructure in developing countries.


What is cholera?

Cholera is a diarrhoeal infectious disease caused by the ingestion of water or food contaminated with the bacterial pathogen Vibrio Cholerae.

What are the causes of cholera?

Ingestion of food or water contaminated with Vibrio Cholerae. 

What are the symptoms of cholera?

Watery diarrhoea (also known as ‘rice water’ diarrhoea), dehydration, shock, vomiting, weakness, and leg cramps.

Is cholera contagious?

Cholera is a contagious infectious disease but direct person-to-person transmission is unlikely. Cholera infection usually happens by coming into contact with water or food that has been contaminated with faecal matter from a person with cholera.

How is cholera spread?

Water/food supplies contaminated with faecal matter containing Vibrio Cholerae (cholera bacteria).

Join Shiken For FREE

Gumbo Study Buddy

Try Shiken Premium
for Free

14-day free trial. Cancel anytime.
Get Started
Join 20,000+ learners worldwide.
The first 14 days are on us
96% of learners report x2 faster learning
Free hands-on onboarding & support
Cancel Anytime