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Cholera Causes & Risks


Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera . This bacterium secretes a toxin that causes rapid loss of fluids from the small intestines. Cholera is not spread directly from one person to another. It is spread through food or water contaminated by fecal waste. It is common in countries that lack adequate sewage disposal.

Small Intestines

Small intestines
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Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chances of getting a disease or condition.

Risk factors include:

  • Eating contaminated food or fluids
  • Eating raw or undercooked shellfish
  • Living or traveling in areas where cholera is present
  • Having blood group O—nine-fold increase in risk
  • Having a compromised immune system
  • Having low levels of stomach acid

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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