THE KILLER DISEASE                   

Cholera, sometimes known as Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera, is an infectious gastroenteritis caused by bacterium VIBRO CHOLERAE. Transmission to human occurs through ingesting food or water that is contaminated with cholera vibrios.

The major reservoir for cholera was long assumed to be human themselves, but considerable evidence exists that aquatic environments can serve as reservoirs of the bacteria. Vibrio Cholerae is a gram-negative bacterium that produces cholera toxin, an enter toxin, whose action on the mucosal epithelium lining of the small intestine is responsible for the characteristic massive diarrhea of the disease.

In the most severe forms, cholera is one of the most rapidly fatal illnesses known, and a healthy person may become hypertensive within an hour of the onset of symptoms; infected patients may die within three hours if medical treatment is not taken or provided. In a common scenario the disease progresses from the first liquid stool to shock in four to 12 hour, with death following in 18 hours to several days.