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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}} Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe.<ref name=CDC2015Pro>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days.<ref name=WHO2010/> Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur.<ref name=CDC2015Pro/> Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.<ref name=WHO2010/> This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet.<ref name=Lancet2012>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> The dehydration may result in the skin turning bluish.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.<ref name=CDC2015Pro/>

Cholera is caused by a number of types of Vibrio cholerae, with some types producing more severe disease than others. It is spread mostly by water and food that has been contaminated with human feces containing the bacteria.<ref name=WHO2010/> Insufficiently cooked seafood is a common source.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Humans are the only animal affected. Risk factors for the disease include poor sanitation, not enough clean drinking water, and poverty. There are concerns that rising sea levels will increase rates of disease. Cholera can be diagnosed by a stool test.<ref name=WHO2010>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> A rapid dipstick test is available but is not as accurate.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Prevention involves improved sanitation and access to clean water.<ref name=Lancet2012/> Cholera vaccines that are given by mouth provide reasonable protection for about six months. They have the added benefit of protecting against another type of diarrhea caused by E. coli. The primary treatment is oral rehydration therapy—the replacement of fluids with slightly sweet and salty solutions.<ref name=WHO2010/> Rice-based solutions are preferred.<ref name=WHO2010/> Zinc supplementation is useful in children.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In severe cases, intravenous fluids, such as Ringer's lactate, may be required, and antibiotics may be beneficial. Testing to see what antibiotic the cholera is susceptible to can help guide the choice.<ref name=CDC2015Pro/>

Cholera affects an estimated 3–5 million people worldwide and causes 58,000–130,000 deaths a year as of 2010.<ref name=WHO2010/><ref name=Loz2012>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> While it is currently classified as a pandemic, it is rare in the developed world. Children are mostly affected.<ref name=WHO2010/><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Cholera occurs as both outbreaks and chronically in certain areas. Areas with an ongoing risk of disease include Africa and south-east Asia. While the risk of death among those affected is usually less than 5%, it may be as high as 50% among some groups who do not have access to treatment.<ref name=WHO2010/> Historical descriptions of cholera are found as early as the 5th century BC in Sanskrit.<ref name=Lancet2012/> The study of cholera by John Snow between 1849 and 1854 led to significant advances in the field of epidemiology.<ref name=Lancet2012/><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>


Cholera sections
Intro   Signs and symptoms    Cause    Mechanism    Diagnosis    Prevention    Treatment    Prognosis    Epidemiology    History    Society and culture    References    External links   

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