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. 부산출장마사지

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Kudos!


    June 10, 2021 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 울산출장안마

    After going over a number of the articles on your blog, I really appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website as well and let me know your opinion.


    June 10, 2021 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 울산출장마사지

    I was able to find good information from your articles.


    June 11, 2021 at 13:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 울산출장안마

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal site now 😉


    June 11, 2021 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 양산출장

    This is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 12, 2021 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Bruce Nydick

    Ha ha… I was just browsing around and took a glance at these reviews. I can’t believe there’s still this much interest. Thanks for writing about this.


    June 12, 2021 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. MileSwa

    cialis 20mg mailorder abilene can you buy cialis with no prescription cialis with effexor

    June 12, 2021 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Zisseloh

    cialis online pharmacy [url=https://rcialisgl.com/ ]mex rx cialis[/url] how much is cialis without insurance

    June 12, 2021 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 대구출장마사지

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Cheers! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 12, 2021 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 전주 출장안마

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Appreciate it!


    June 12, 2021 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. mis12days.com

    I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such
    detailed about my problem. You are incredible!

    June 12, 2021 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 인천출장마사지

    Howdy! I could have sworn Iíve visited this blog before but after browsing through many of the posts I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím certainly happy I discovered it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back often!


    June 12, 2021 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 우리카지노



    June 13, 2021 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 케이출장

    There is definately a great deal to know about this subject. I really like all the points you made.


    June 13, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. EncoxAni

    cialis 20 mg canada pharmacy [url=https://pharmacyken.com/ ]Femara[/url] levitra online pharmacy

    June 13, 2021 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. EncoxDev

    rite aid pharmacy store hours [url=https://cjepharmacy.com/ ]total rx pharmacy[/url] online pharmacy certification

    June 13, 2021 at 03:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 출장마사지

    I like looking through a post that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!


    June 13, 2021 at 04:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 인천출장

    Great info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have bookmarked it for later!


    June 13, 2021 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. EncoxDev

    online canadian pharmacy pet meds rate online pharmacies pharmacy technician degree online

    June 13, 2021 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 전주 출장안마

    I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you postÖ


    June 13, 2021 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. EncoxHtf

    buy cialis 36 hour online cialis coupon rite aid brand cialis canada

    June 13, 2021 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. EncoxHtf

    beta blockers and cialis cialis cheap cialis 20mg ????

    June 13, 2021 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 양산출장

    This site certainly has all of the information I wanted about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 14, 2021 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 창원출장

    May I simply just say what a relief to discover somebody who actually knows what they're discussing over the internet. You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people must check this out and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you aren't more popular since you surely possess the gift.


    June 14, 2021 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. saw

    Hi are using WordPress for your site platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and set up
    my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your
    own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    June 14, 2021 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. 구미출장안마

    Aw, this was a very good post. Spending some time and actual effort to create a superb articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and don't manage to get nearly anything done.


    June 14, 2021 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 경주출장안마

    I used to be able to find good info from your articles.


    June 14, 2021 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 파워볼사이트

    Wonderful article! We will be linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    June 15, 2021 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 파워볼 사이트

    This is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate infoÖ Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 15, 2021 at 01:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. 파워볼 최상위 사이트

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!


    June 15, 2021 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 파워볼 전용 사이트

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't fail me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.


    June 15, 2021 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 파워볼전용사이트

    I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!


    June 15, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. 파워볼 최상위 사이트

    This is the perfect webpage for everyone who wants to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that's been discussed for a long time. Great stuff, just wonderful!


    June 15, 2021 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 파워볼 최상위 사이트

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may return once again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    June 15, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. clozapine

    hydroxycloro aralen buy difference between chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine

    June 15, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 파워볼전용사이트

    There is definately a lot to learn about this subject. I really like all of the points you have made.


    June 15, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 파워볼 전용 사이트

    This is the right website for anybody who would like to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic which has been written about for decades. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    June 15, 2021 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. an urrainn dhomh binance a chleachdadh anns na h-Innseachan

    Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd figured I'd
    ask. Would you be interested in trading links or
    maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My blog discusses a lot
    of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

    June 15, 2021 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 김해출장마사지

    Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    June 15, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 진주출장

    I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content. Your article has really peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.


    June 15, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 파워볼 최상위 사이트

    Howdy, I believe your blog could possibly be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful website!


    June 16, 2021 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 파워볼 전용 사이트

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?


    June 16, 2021 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. 파워볼전용사이트

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this website needs far more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!


    June 16, 2021 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 파워볼 사이트

    Excellent article. I'm dealing with some of these issues as well..


    June 16, 2021 at 04:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 경산출장

    You've made some good points there. I checked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.


    June 16, 2021 at 06:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. http://w88vn.biz/w88-link-vao-w88-mobile-an-toan-uy-tin-tai-w88vn-biz/

    Hello! I could have sworn I've been to your blog
    before but after looking at many of the posts I realized it's new to me.
    Nonetheless, I'm certainly pleased I stumbled upon it and I'll be
    bookmarking it and checking back often!

    June 16, 2021 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 파워볼 최상위 사이트

    Hello! I simply would like to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have got here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.


    June 16, 2021 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 파워볼사이트

    I used to be able to find good info from your content.


    June 16, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. CBD Lube

    I like what you guys are usually up too. This type of clever work and reporting! Keep up the terrific works guys I've included you guys to my own blogroll.


    June 16, 2021 at 22:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 부산출장안마

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly think this site needs a great deal more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!


    June 16, 2021 at 22:15 | 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 good


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.