Robert Koch discovered and isolated the toxic bacterium, also known as the cholera toxin: the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The dehydration that can occur with watery diarrhea is the reason that people die from this disease.
Most often this disease is contracted by ingesting contaminated food or water. The immediate attention to the possibility of becoming severely dehydrated as a result of diarrhea will make the difference between survival and death with this disease.
Some of the symptoms of cholera include:
• Loss of skin elasticity
• Rapid heart rate
• Muscle cramps
• Low blood pressure
• Dry mucous membranes
• Restlessness or irritability, especially in children
• Diarrhea with mucus and some epithelial cells that appear to be flecks of whitish material, and are the size of grains of rice. For this reason, the diarrhea associated with cholera is known as “rice water stool.” It can have a “fishy” odor.