10 Mind-blowing Facts About Cholera

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1.Cholera is the major cause of epidemic diarrhea.

  • Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease caused by Vibrio Cholerae bacterium.
  • There is an estimated 3-5 million global cholera cases every year.
  • It is more prevalent in places with lack of water treatment for safe drinking, clean water for household cleaning and handwashing.

2.Africa has the highest fatality rates from Cholera all over the world.

  • Africa is known to be the poorest in the world.
  • It is the 2nd most populous continent next to Asia.
  • Africa, being one of the underdeveloped countries has inadequate access to a healthy living.
  • Malnutrition is widely observed in Africa due to poor hygienic practice and sanitation.

 3.Cholera ranked the 7th deadliest pandemic disease.

  • Death can occur within hours from infection of the bacteria.
  • If left untreated, it will cause the body’s blood volume to drop (Hypovolemia) leading to shock then eventually to death.

4.Eating raw and undercooked shellfish have been a source of Cholera.


  • The natural environment of cholera bacterium is on warm coastal waters and blackish rivers.
  • The infection is acquired from ingestion of contaminated waters and eating seafoods contaminated with Vibrio Cholerae.

5.Natural immunity from Cholera infection can be acquired after exposure to the disease.


  • People who are in the process of recovering from the disease are protected from reinfection of V.Cholera with the same biotype.
  • In some instances, where the person gets the same infection from the bacteria, the disease is quite less severe.

6.There is a vaccine available for the prevention of Cholera.


  • A two-dosed vaccine which is approved by the World Health Organization is the Dukoral and SanChol, manufactured in Sweden and India.
  • It may take several weeks for the vaccine’s potency to take effect and protect the person receiving the vaccine.
  • The vaccine doesn’t guarantee complete protection against Cholera.


7.The bacterium that causes Cholera cannot be eradicated.

  • Eradication is totally impossible since coastal waters are the natural reservoir of the bacterium.
  • Cholera can be controlled if water system separates sewage from potable water.
  • Chlorination of water for cleaning and handwashing.
  • The key to combat cholera is the standard preventive measures which should not be compromised.

8.Anti-diarrheal medicines cannot help to treat watery stool caused by cholera.


  • It has been a common practice to take over the counter medicine when one has loose bowel movements.
  • Anti diarrheal medicines can only help to reduce the frequency of having loose bowel movements.
  • Taking of anti diarrheal medicines is not recommended in cholera infection.

9.A rice water stool is the key characteristic of cholera infection.


  • Having few bouts of loose stools in a short duration of time is considered diarrhea.
  • Diarrheal diseases can either be due to infections caused by virus, parasites and bacteria or by a non infectious cause like lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome or medicines that can cause diarrhea.
  • To quickly differentiate Cholera from other gastrointestinal infections, Cholera is characterized by sudden bouts of diarrhea with “fishy” odor and accompanied by vomiting.


10.The power of Oral rehydration Solution can save lives from Cholera infection.

  • Cholera infection often shows mild or no symptoms at all.
  • It can take anytime from few hours on the onset of infection up to 5 days for the symptoms to manifest.
  • Rapid fluid loss brought about by several episode of diarrhea and vomiting may lead to dehydration.
  • The main goal of cholera treatment is to replace the essential electrolytes loss caused by the disease.

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