October 22nd, 2010
02:09 PM ET

Cholera can be deadly within hours

Cholera is a bacterial illness that causes severe diarrhea and dehydration and can be lethal within hours if a person is not treated.

"This is a bacteria that actually is in the environment. It's in brackish water in the river. It can be in seacoasts and if the environmental conditions are not right, the cholera bacteria can grow up and then anyone who ingests that water or food that comes from that water or food that is prepared with that water can get ill," says Dr. William Schaffner, chair of Preventive Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

In an epidemic, cholera can also be spread from the feces of an infected person.  Children and adults alike are vulnerable.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), three-quarters of people carrying the bacteria have no symptoms. For those who do get sick, the main symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramps, dehydration and shock. Death can occur if treatment is not immediately administered.
While human remains don’t typically pose a health threat, the WHO notes that bodies of people who have died from cholera do pose a health risk and should be kept away from polluting sources of drinking water.

The WHO estimates  3–5 million people are sickened by cholera each year causing 100,000–120,000 deaths.

The bacteria can spread when human waste enters water systems and people drink the contaminated water or eat food that's been cooked in contaminated water.  While modern sewerage systems have almost completely eliminated cholera in industrialized countries, it can thrive in areas where war, disaster, or extreme poverty forces people to live in crowded and unsanitary conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Cholera is easily treated if people can be rehydrated.  In many cases, giving patients oral rehydration salts can help relieve symtoms.  In more severe cases, IV fluids may and antibiotics are required.   According to the WHO, the fatality rate may be 30-50 percent if left untreated.   Two vaccines are available to prevent cholera, but they are not always readily available in situations where disaster and impoverishment flourish.

Improving sewerage and sanitation conditions is the best way to prevent cholera outbreaks and spread, according to the WHO.  But this is not always practical in times of disaster, where food, hygiene and public health tracking may be compromised.

soundoff (903 Responses)
  1. LebnEncox

    top 10 pharmacy websites https://xlnpharmacy.com/ Moduretic

    May 8, 2021 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AnooEncox

    como comprar viagra en el peru http://llviagra.com/ – viagra amg contra indicacao para viagra

    May 9, 2021 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. FmrfEncox

    best cialis online https://cialisee.com/ – free viagra and cialis samples cialis trial pack

    May 9, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. FmrfEncox

    cialis tadalafil 20mg https://cialisee.com/ cialis 200mg

    May 9, 2021 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 먹튀사이트

    Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve been to this web site before but after going through some of the posts I realized itís new to me. Regardless, Iím certainly pleased I stumbled upon it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


    May 10, 2021 at 01:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. LbsoZisse

    kaboom cialis https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis without pres

    May 10, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    Howdy! I just wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your great info you have right here on this post. I'll be coming back to your blog for more soon.


    May 10, 2021 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 먹튀검증

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously feel this amazing site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the info!


    May 10, 2021 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RebfZisse

    buy brand name cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ – generic cialis with dapoxetine black tab cialis

    May 11, 2021 at 02:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. LbsoZisse

    pharmacy cialis no prescription https://ucialisdas.com/ best place to get cialis without pesricption

    May 11, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 먹튀검증업체

    Right here is the right site for anyone who really wants to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need toÖHaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic that has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    May 11, 2021 at 05:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 먹튀검증업체

    Great post! We will be linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    May 11, 2021 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 먹튀사이트

    I'm pretty pleased to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely savored every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new stuff in your website.


    May 11, 2021 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. BbshMile

    free samples of viagra http://loxviagra.com/ – herb viagra green box viagra natural

    May 12, 2021 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Mozell Spillman

    It's in reality a great and helpful piece of info. I'm satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.


    May 12, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. GtnbCrulk

    is there anything over the counter that works like viagra? https://jokviagra.com/ whats viagra

    May 12, 2021 at 07:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. GtnbCrulk

    main ingredient in viagra https://jokviagra.com/ viagra canadian pharmacy

    May 12, 2021 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. BbshMile

    cialis vs viagra cost https://loxviagra.com/ can you buy viagra over the counter?

    May 13, 2021 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. AnooEncox

    viagra efectos alcohol http://llviagra.com/ – informacion sobre el uso de la viagra price of viagra in malaysia

    May 13, 2021 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 사설토토

    Very good blog post. I certainly love this site. Stick with it!


    May 13, 2021 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RebfZisse

    cialis paypal payment http://rcialisgl.com/ where can i get cialis overnite

    May 13, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. 토토사이트

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the net. I am going to recommend this web site!


    May 14, 2021 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. JebgEncox

    cialis online pharmacy international pharmacies that ship to the usa online pharmacy meds

    May 14, 2021 at 05:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 토토사이트

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I donít know why I cannot join it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    May 15, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. JebgEncox

    online pharmacy delivery Periactin best drugstore moisturizer

    May 15, 2021 at 02:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. 먹튀검증

    Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    May 15, 2021 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. avanafil

    avanafil stendra dosage avanafil 200

    May 15, 2021 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. AnooEncox

    jГЎ tomou viagra http://llviagra.com/ significado de viagra chiste

    May 15, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 메이저사이트

    Hello there! I just want to give you a big thumbs up for the great info you've got right here on this post. I will be returning to your web site for more soon.


    May 15, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. FmrfEncox

    cialis online 365 pills http://cialisee.com/ – cialis generika china purchase cialis online

    May 15, 2021 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 먹튀검증

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your website.


    May 16, 2021 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. FmrfEncox

    viagra cialis meds http://cialisee.com/ online cialis florida delivery

    May 16, 2021 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. LebnEncox

    best canadian pharmacy http://xlnpharmacy.com/ online medicine tablets shopping

    May 16, 2021 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 먹튀검증사이트

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you ought to publish more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo matter but generally folks don't speak about such issues. To the next! Kind regards!!


    May 16, 2021 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 토토사이트

    I couldnít resist commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 16, 2021 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. LebnEncox

    Zudena http://xlnpharmacy.com/ online pharmacy weight loss

    May 16, 2021 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. LbsoZisse

    cialis original online https://ucialisdas.com/ free shipping for cialis

    May 16, 2021 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RebfZisse

    cialis brand https://rcialisgl.com/ cialis without a perscription

    May 17, 2021 at 05:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. LbsoZisse

    cialis online without a prescription http://ucialisdas.com/ how can i get cialis fast

    May 17, 2021 at 05:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 먹튀검증업체

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying these details.


    May 17, 2021 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 메이저사이트

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!


    May 17, 2021 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 사설토토

    May I simply say what a relief to uncover somebody who actually understands what they're talking about on the net. You certainly realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people really need to read this and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you are not more popular since you definitely possess the gift.


    May 18, 2021 at 04:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 먹튀검증

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 18, 2021 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Philadelphia Weekly CBD Lube

    Just bookmarked this article as I have actually found it rather valuable.


    May 19, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 토토사이트

    Excellent post! We will be linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.


    May 19, 2021 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Best CBD Oil for Dogs

    Very few authors with appropriate understanding of the subjects they write about.


    May 19, 2021 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 먹튀검증사이트

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that make the greatest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 19, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. JebgEncox

    Methocarbamol http://pharmacylo.com/ best drugstore lipstick

    May 19, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. cyclomune

    cyclosporine lab tube cyclomune 0.1% eye drops cost

    May 20, 2021 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RebfZisse

    cialis for sell https://rcialisgl.com/ shop cialis

    May 20, 2021 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Leave a Reply to tausAffessy


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.