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Cholera – Causes, Symptoms and Treatments


  • Cholera is caused by bacteria called Vibrio cholerae.
  • This bacterium is found in various planktons and also in shallow coastal areas.
  • Contaminated water, food and fish especially shellfish causes cholera in human.
  • Cholera is transmitted through fecal-oral.
  • The bacteria synthesize a toxic substance that causes watery diarrhoea discharge.
  • Cholera is an epidemic disease spread across all parts of the world transported through ocean currents.
Vibreo cholerae that causes cholera

Vibreo cholerae that causes cholera


  • Symptoms are usually felt only after 1 to 2 days of incubation
  • Onset of painless watery diarrhoea.
  • Progressive increase in the volume of diarrhoea.
  • Further resulting in vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea causes severe dehydration.
  • Circulatory failure occurs rapidly.
  • Collapse and ultimate death can occur within few hours.


  • Tests are not necessary.
  • Stool tests are taken but treatment does not depend on them.
  • Rehydration must be started very soon as loose stools starts.
  • Oral rehydration can be started at home itself if there is no vomiting.
  • IV fluids must be started as soon as the stools become frequent.
  • Circulatory failure due to shock will occur with its sequel of acute renal failure.
  • Antibiotics must be provided but their use is not known.
  • Delay in the treatment of dehydration may result in ultimate death.
  • In cholera epidemics, many lives have been saved by means of oral rehydration.


  • 1 litre boiled water + 50gms soft cooked rice blended + 1 tsp salt + 1 lemon / orange juice (To make 1 litre oral rehydration solution).
  • 1 glass i.e., 200ml of oral rehydration must be for each and every passage of stool.
Oral rehydration solution

Oral rehydration solution


  • Very good personal hygiene.
  • Vaccination is under practice but it is not of great use.


Oral cholera vaccine is under development and various researches have been performed on this.

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