Vibrio cholerae

Precautions

Standard Precautions

General Information

Gram-negative bacilli.

Endemic in 50 countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, Indian subcontinent, and Haiti. Remains a global threat to public health.

Transmission occurs by ingestion of contaminated food or water. The bacteria can easily attach to the shells of shellfish, crabs, and shrimps, which can be a source of human infection when eaten raw.

The incubation period is between 2 hours and 5 days.

Cholera is often mild or without symptoms, but it can be life-threatening if left untreated; severe acute watery diarrhea with rapid dehydration and a mortality rate that can reach 50-75%.

Serious, if left untreated:

  • Shock

  • Acidosis

Primary treatment is hydration. Start oral rehydration solution (ORS) immediately. Antibiotic treatment recommended only for severely-ill patients with severe dehydration.

Isolation of culture of stool specimens is the gold standard.

CDC. Cholera - Vibrio cholerae infection. October 30, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/index.html

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