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. 토토사이트

    Hello there! This article couldnít be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this post to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!


    January 27, 2021 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 출장


    January 28, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. FmnfEncox

    cialis online australia cialis super active all cialis drug original prices https://impotencecdny.com/info/history.php – cipla cialis ’

    January 28, 2021 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 출장마사지


    January 28, 2021 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Lawrence Culloton


    January 28, 2021 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Website

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.


    January 29, 2021 at 04:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. AhmdEncox

    most recommended online pharmacies cialis online pharmacies cialis 20 mg https://impotencecdny.com/ – canada pharmacy ’

    January 29, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 먹튀검증커뮤니티

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast because I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this matter here on your internet site.


    January 30, 2021 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 토토사이트

    Greetings, There's no doubt that your blog may be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, fantastic blog!


    January 30, 2021 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Grace Plantz

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!


    January 30, 2021 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 먹튀사이트

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own website now 😉


    January 30, 2021 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 먹튀검증


    January 30, 2021 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. KbbgMile

    viagra..com Aldactone where to buy viagra in singapore http://erectilejyzd.com/ – Thorazine ’

    January 31, 2021 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. visio professional download

    Hi my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome, great written and come with almost all significant infos. I’d like to see more posts like this .


    January 31, 2021 at 05:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. NgscZisse

    generic viagra soft gel capsule sildenafil pills sale viagra online from canada http://canadianpharmacy-yy.com/Fitness/how-to-get-a-six-pack.html – wholesale viagra ’

    January 31, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 먹튀검증커뮤니티


    February 1, 2021 at 03:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. sfweekly.com

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


    February 1, 2021 at 07:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 먹튀검증

    Hi there, I do believe your web site could be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful site!


    February 1, 2021 at 07:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. FhnhZisse

    Cialis Super Active london drugs canada pharmacy without dr prescriptions https://canadianpharmacy-yy.com/ – canadian prescription ’

    February 1, 2021 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 서울출장


    February 1, 2021 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. JnscCrulk

    generic viagra usa viagra on ebay non prescription viagra http://erectilejyzd.com/index.php?called=terms – which is better viagra viagra or levitra ’

    February 1, 2021 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. 먹튀사이트


    February 1, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 먹튀사이트

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


    February 2, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 먹튀검증사이트


    February 3, 2021 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Insurance Lead

    What i don't realize is actually how you are not really much more well-liked than you might be now. You're so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like men and women aren't fascinated unless it’s one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!


    February 3, 2021 at 06:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. 출장

    After going over a number of the blog posts on your web page, I truly like your technique of blogging. I book-marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website too and tell me what you think.


    February 3, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. KbcxMile

    canada pharmacy online reviews shoppers drug mart pharmacy online rx pharmacy

    February 3, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 메이저사이트

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article. Thank you for supplying these details.


    February 3, 2021 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jamika Sicks

    Hey! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to take a look. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and excellent design and style.


    February 3, 2021 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Website

    I'm not sure why but this site is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists.


    February 4, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. laweekly.com

    The only thing I cry over is not having found your blog site earlier.


    February 4, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. laweekly.com

    Your manner of addressin this subject is both fantastic and also inspiring.


    February 4, 2021 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. sfweekly.com

    A lot of bloggers nowadays but very few have blog posts worth spending time on reviewing.


    February 4, 2021 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. sfexaminer.com

    Exactly the type of web content that enhances the web. Thanks!


    February 4, 2021 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. AhkdEncox

    best online pharmacies canada price prescription drugs canada prescription drugs

    February 4, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 서울출장안마


    February 4, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 토토사이트

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


    February 4, 2021 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Kuikseelt

    buy generic viagra from canada viagra uk pharmacy viagra with penis pump

    February 4, 2021 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. FqhhEncox

    canada drugs direct pharmacy online store pharmacy cheap no prescription

    February 5, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. 먹튀검증

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    February 5, 2021 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 마사지구인


    February 5, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 마사지구인

    Great article. I will be going through many of these issues as well..


    February 5, 2021 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. xemkqxs.com

    When I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!|


    February 6, 2021 at 02:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 출장마사지


    February 6, 2021 at 02:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 마사지알바


    February 6, 2021 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. instagram takipci hilesi

    Trmedya sitesi olarak bizlerin sahip olduğu genel hizmet prensibi en hızlı ve güvenli şekilde ilgili satın alınan takipçileri hesaplara gönderebilmektir.


    February 7, 2021 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 마사지알바

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    February 7, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 마사지구인구직

    I'm excited to find this web site. I need to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and i also have you book-marked to see new information in your blog.


    February 7, 2021 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. 출장안마


    February 7, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. JbnbCrulk

    aarp approved canadian online pharmacies cialis online pharmacy cheap viagra online canadian pharmacy

    February 7, 2021 at 08:57 | 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.