This is a bacterial infection. It's caused by the cholera bacterium. It affects your digestive system. For some people, it causes severe diarrhea and other problems.


How do you get cholera? The bacterium is in the feces of infected people. In places with poor sanitation, it can get into the food or water supply. When you eat or drink contaminated food or water, you get infected.


A cholera infection can be mild. You may not even have any symptoms. But for some people, it is very serious. It can cause watery diarrhea and vomiting. It can also cause leg cramps. Without medical care, it can be fatal.


Cholera infections are treated with antibiotics and with fluids and salts to replace what you've lost. You may be given a solution to drink, or you may be given an I.V.


If you live in or plan to visit a place where you may come into contact with cholera, take steps to prevent it. Ask your doctor to vaccinate you. Use only bottled or purified water for drinking and washing. Wash your hands often with soap and clean water. Make sure your food is thoroughly cooked and handled properly. Ask your doctor for more tips on cholera prevention.