Christie Clinic - Medicine for Your Life

Our website is currently having technical difficulties. To view the site, please click here

Health Encyclopedia

Health Encyclopedia

An invaluable resource of health information.

Cholera

Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that causes a large amount of watery diarrhea.

  • Alternative Names

    V. cholerae; Vibrio

  • Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The bacteria releases a toxin that causes increased release of water in the intestines, which produces severe diarrhea.

    Cholera occurs in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war, and famine. Common locations for cholera include:

    • Africa
    • Asia
    • India
    • Mexico
    • South and Central America
    • The Mediterranean

    People get the infection by ingesting contaminated food or water.

    A type of vibrio bacteria also has been associated with shellfish, especially raw oysters.

    Risk factors include:

    • Exposure to contaminated or untreated drinking water
    • Living in or traveling to areas where there is cholera
  • Symptoms

    Note: Symptoms can vary from mild to severe.

  • Signs and tests

    Tests that may be done include:

  • Treatment

    The objective of treatment is to replace fluid and electrolytes lost through diarrhea. Depending on your condition, you may be given fluids by mouth or through a vein (intravenous). Antibiotics may shorten the time you feel ill.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed an oral rehydration solution that is cheaper and easier to use than the typical intravenous fluid. This solution of sugar and electrolytes is now being used internationally.

  • Expectations (prognosis)

    Severe dehydration can cause death. Given adequate fluids, most people will make a full recovery.

  • Complications
    • Severe dehydration
    • Death
  • Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if :

    • You develop severe watery diarrhea
    • You have signs of dehydration, including:
      • Dry mouth
      • Dry skin
      • "Glassy" eyes
      • Lethargy
      • No tears
      • Rapid pulse
      • Reduced or no urine
      • Sunken eyes
      • Thirst
      • Unusual sleepiness or tiredness
  • Prevention

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend cholera vaccines for most travelers. (Such a vaccine is not available in the United States.)

    Travelers should always take precautions with food and drinking water, even if vaccinated.

    When outbreaks of cholera occur, efforts should be directed toward establishing clean water, food, and sanitation, because vaccination is not very effective in managing outbreaks.

  • References

    Gotuzzo E, Seas C. Cholera and other vibrio infections. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 325.

Review Date: 2/21/2009

Reviewed By: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on University Photo Christie Clinic on University
101 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 Main Phone: (217) 366-1200
Billing Services: (217) 366-1382
Toll Free: (888) 391-0412
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic on Windsor/Convenient Care
1801 West Windsor Road Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 366-8000
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant Photo Christie Clinic at Presence Covenant
1400 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 366-1200
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Rantoul Photo Christie Clinic in Rantoul
209 West Borman Drive Rantoul, IL 61866 (217) 892-9671
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Mahomet/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Mahomet/Convenient Care
1001 Commercial Drive Mahomet, IL 61853 (217) 586-6600 or (217)366-8130
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Danville on Vermilion/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Danville on Vermilion/Convenient Care
3545 North Vermilion Street Danville, IL 61832 (217) 442-8611
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Tuscola Photo Christie Clinic in Tuscola
300 North Main Street Tuscola, IL 61953 (217) 253-9258
Christie Clinic CU Sleep Photo CU Sleep
1207 South Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 355-1684
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic Cancer Center Photo Christie Clinic Cancer Center
109 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 366-5180
Christie Clinic Convenient Care in County Market (Kirby & Duncan) Photo Convenient Care in County Market (Kirby & Duncan)
2901 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 366-8130
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Urbana/Convenient Care Photo Christie Clinic in Urbana/Convenient Care
1710 East Windsor Road Urbana, IL 61802 (217) 344-9440
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Danville on Logan Photo Christie Clinic in Danville on Logan
800 North Logan Avenue Danville, IL 61832 (217) 431-8930
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic on Fox Drive Photo Christie Clinic on Fox Drive
2110 Fox Drive, Suite B Champaign, IL 61820
Christie Clinic Kirby Medical Group Specialty Clinic in Monticello Photo Kirby Medical Group Specialty Clinic in Monticello
1109 A. North State Street Monticello, IL 61856 (217) 366-1304
Gibson Area Hospital
1120 N Melvin Gibson City, IL 60936 (217) 784-2240
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic in Mattoon Photo Christie Clinic in Mattoon
105 B Professional Plaza Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 345-3000
Christie Clinic Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System Photo Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System
1000 Health Center Drive Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 258-2588
Christie Clinic The Champaign SurgiCenter Photo The Champaign SurgiCenter
1702 S. Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 326-2030
Christie Clinic The Carle Foundation Hospital Photo The Carle Foundation Hospital
611 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 (217) 383-3311
Iroquois Memorial Hospital
200 E. Fairman Ave. Watseka, IL 60970 (815) 432-5841
Christie Clinic Christie Clinic at Savoy Photo Christie Clinic at Savoy
501 North Dunlap Avenue Savoy, IL 61874 Transformations: (217) 366-7460 Internal Medicine: (217) 366-5434 Ophthalmology: (217) 366-1250
Christie Clinic at 410 E. University
410 E. University Champaign, IL 61820
Christie Clinic on West Park Street
1405 West Park Street Urbana, IL 61801 217-366-1237
Christie Clinic in Monticello
107 West Main Street Monticello, IL 61856 217.762.3352