Brief Background of Cholera

Cholera is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholera, usually ingested through contaminated food or water. It infects the intestine, causing severe watery diarrhoea and dehydration, leading to death if left untreated.

Cholera is quite widespread, with about 1.4 to 4.3 million cases and 28,000 to 142,000 deaths a year (World Health Organisation, 2015). It is also endemic in many countries, like India, Ethiopia, and Haiti (Mohammad, et al., 2015). This is usually due to poor water and sanitation facilities.

Cholera can be treated successfully through oral rehydration salts while severely dehydrated patients would need intravenous fluids and appropriate antibiotics. There are currently two oral cholera vaccines available, used in mass vaccination campaigns with the World Health Organisation support.


Mohammad, A., Nelson, A. R., Lopez, A. L. & Sack, D. A., 2015. National Center for Biotechnology. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 25 May 2016].

World Health Organisation, 2015. World Health Organisation. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 25 May 2016].


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