Cholera is a diarrhoeal illness most likely to be found in parts of the world with poor water and sanitary services.
A person can get cholera from drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated with the cholera bacterium. The illness can spread rapidly particularly in areas with poor hygiene.
Cholera can be mild or severe. Severe illness is usually indicated by extreme watery diarrhoea, leg cramps, and vomiting. Dehydration and shock is common. Without urgent medical care including intravenous hydration, cholera can be fatal.
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Last reviewed: July 2016