Cholera: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 6/11/2021

Cholera is a disease characterized by severe, watery diarrhea.

Signs and symptoms of cholera include severe, watery diarrhea that comes on rapidly and resembles rice water. The condition can rapidly lead to dehydration and associated symptoms and signs include

The diarrhea is usually painless. Symptoms can vary in severity among affected people. If not treated with fluids and electrolytes, the dehydration that results may be life-threatening.

Cause of cholera

Infection with the bacteria known as Vibrio cholerae causes cholera. The disease usually spreads among humans by contaminated water, although it can also spread by foods contaminated with the Vibrio cholerae bacteria, particularly raw shellfish.

Other cholera symptoms and signs

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References
Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.