What is Vibrio cholerae?

Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacteria Vibrio cholerae. Cholera was prevalent in the 1800s, but due to proper treatment of sewage and drinking water, has become rare in developed countries. V. cholerae can be found in contaminated food or water, especially in areas of poor sanitation and water treatment. It can also be found in brackish rivers and coastal water. The V. cholerae bacterium accumulates in a person’s stomach and produces toxins, which affect the cells of the gastrointestinal tract, causing the person to lose large quantities of fluid (up to one litre per hour). Cholera is a fecal disease, meaning that it spreads when the feces of an infected person come into contact with food or water.

What are the symptoms and the incubation time?

Most people who are infected with V.Cholerae will remain asymptomatic, meaning that they will not experience any symptoms. The symptoms of cholera include profuse, watery diarrhea, oftenaccompanied by stomach pains, leg cramps, mildfever and vomiting. In extreme cases, where treatment is not given, this can lead to severe dehydration and shock. Because the loss of fluoccurs so rapidly, death can occur within several hours. The incubation time ranges from less thanseveral hours up to five days.


How long do the symptoms last ?

Colera is a disease that progresses rapidly/ The symptoms generally appear quite quickly after infection. The bacterium is generally present in the feces of an infected person for 7 to 14 days, though with treatment, the symptoms do not last long.

How is it diagnosed?

Cholera is difficult to diagnose for several reason. First. most people who are infected do notbecome ill. though they still carry and transfer the bacteria. Of those who do become ill 80 to 90 percent experience only mild to moderate cholera. Mild moderate cholera is difficult to diagnose because diarrhae is a common symptom of many disease. less than 20 percent of people who become ill develop typical cholera with moderate to severe dehydration.

Am I risk for disease?

Cholera is rare in developed countries due to adequate treatment of sewage and drinking water. However, cholera outbreaks continue to occur in african. Asian and latin American countries. So people who travel to areas wher cholera is present can become infected annd transit the disease to others. Contaminated seafood is another way in which cholera can be spread to developed countries.

How can I prevent getting cholera? 

It is exteremely unlikely to contact cholera in developed countries. If you travel to areas where cholera is a concern, simple precautions can minize your chances of becoming infected:
  • Be sure to wash your hands before processing and eating food, and after using the bathroom. 
  • Drink water that you have boiled or treated with chlorine or iodine. 
  • Eat foods that are hot and have been cooked throughly 
  • Eat fruits that you have peeled yourself. 
  • Avoid raw or undercooked fish and shellfish. 
  • Avoid salads. 
  • Avoid foods and drinks from street vendor 
  • Do not bring perishable seafood back home with you 
What is the treatment for cholera? 

There are several antibotics that shoten the course and diminish the severity of cholera. But it is most important to replace the fluids that have been lost through diarhea. Oral dehydration solutions. containing a mixture of sugar and salts. are mixed with water and drunk in large amounts. When rehydration is prompt, either through rehydration salts, or intravenous fluids when necessary, fatality rates can be reduced to less than one percent.