Cholera – causes and symptoms
Cholera is an infectious disease with diarrhoea caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.
The disease is most common in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war and famine. Common locations include parts of Africa, south Asia, Latin America and Haiti (following the earthquake in 2010). If you are travelling to one of those areas knowing the following cholera facts can help protect you and your family.
Symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection. Often symptoms are mild but sometimes they are very serious. About one in 20 people infected have severe watery diarrhoea accompanied by vomiting which can quickly lead to dehydration. Although many infected people may have minimal or no symptoms they can still contribute to spread of the infection.