an acute, diarrheal illness
The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe. Approximately one in 10 infected persons will have severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.
A person can get Cholera by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the cholera bacterium. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with improper treatment of sewage and drinking water. The disease is not likely to spread directly from one person to another. Therefore casual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill.
Deaths and Number of Illness per year
About 3 to 5 million cases and over 100,000 deaths occur each year around the world.