Cholera: mechanism for control and prevention
Report by the Secretariat
Cholera is an acute enteric infection characterized by profuse vomiting and acute watery diarrhoea caused by ingestion of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1 or O139. The infection can lead within hours to severe dehydration and death. If untreated, the case-fatality rate can reach 50%, but with timely and adequate treatment, that rate will remain below 1%. In 80% of cases patients recover when treated only with oral rehydration salts; between 10% and 20% of patients need administration of intravenous fluids for rehydration.