Cholera is a disease that is caused by a germ invading the intestines.

It can be caught through infected water supplies or eating food with the bacterium in it.

The water is infected by the unintentional combination of infected faeces diluted within the water, and then being drunk. It is very contagious.

The symptoms of cholera come on very quickly, and, if not treated, can result in death within four to twelve hours of contact with the bacteria.
An infected person experiences:

Severe vomiting

Explosive diarrhoea


Leg cramps

If there is no immediate access to antibiotics,the best answer is rehydration.

Clean water mixed with glucose is a simple formula that stops dehydration and is life saving.

The bacterium that causes cholera will pass over a period of time, but dehydration is usually what kills people, so it is essential that the infected person rehydrates themselves.

Antibiotics such as doxycycline and tetracycline are used to shorten the period of diarrhoea, as well as keeping the infected person hydrated at all times, as they will still be losing fluids.

Remember - Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it!

In a developing area where there is no clean drinking water, and inadequate sewage systems extra precautions need to be put in place.

Always boil water before drinking or washing. If possible treat the water with chlorine or iodine.

Peel, boil and cook through any foods before eating them.

It is imperative that after using the toilet, hands need to be thoroughly washed with a disinfectant.

Background Information

Do I have Cholera?


Preventing Dehydration

Hygiene Tips