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Cholera (WHO Fact Sheet No. 107)
This official WHO fact sheet provides basic information on cholera, an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period, from less than one day to five days, and produces an enterotoxin that causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given. Vomiting also occurs in most patients. However, most persons infected with V. cholerae do not become ill, although the bacterium is present in their faeces for 7-14 days. When illness does occur, more than 90% of episodes are of mild or moderate severity and are difficult to distinguish clinically from other types of acute diarrhea. Less than 10% of ill persons develop typical cholera with signs of moderate or severe dehydration.  (23/Oct/2006)
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