Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It’s caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium known as Vibrio Cholerae.
Cholera was prevalent in the US in the 1800s, before modern water and sewage treatment systems eliminated its spread by contaminated water. Only about 10 cases of cholera are reported every year in the US and half of these are acquired abroad. Rarely, contaminated seafood has caused cholera outbreaks is still considered a serious problem in other parts of the world. At least 150,000 cases are reported to the World Health Organization every year.
The disease is most common in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war and famine. Common locations include pars of Africa, South Asia and Latin America.