As Seen In: USA Today, Discovery Channel, US News & World Report
Wilderness Survival
Site Search:

Featured Member Video

The Versatile Trail Hawk

More Videos by IA Woodsman
View larger or ask the author a question.
View all wilderness survival videos

Recent Forum Posts RSS

Thread Title Replies
This isn't a deal that the majority... 0
Things get a piece heaps a lot much... 0
Who says October is the alone air-c... 0
What's New This Ceremony in RuneSca... 0
What's New This Ceremony in RuneSca... 0
What are you cooking today and how? 2313
The Old Bird is Still Alive and Kic... 8
Just in time 11
Whale of a well tale 2
He is rated 66 in FC 24 and plays f... 0
Members: 24609 | Posts: 527178
Come Join the Discussion Today!

Our site has been mentioned in:

U.S. News and World Report
Best of the Web - Site of the Week 8/6/01

Discovery Channel Canada
One Week in the Wilderness

USA Today
Hot Sites 08/08/2005


Alternative names: dysentery (though dysentery is actually a different condition, the two are often confused)

Type of infection: bacterial

Incubation period: 12 hours to 5 days

Mortality rate: up to 50% when untreated

Vector: contaminated water


The earliest reports of cholera-like symptoms are from India, about 1000 years ago, but there have been notable outbreaks around the world right up into current times. During an outbreak in England in 1854, contaminated water was discovered to be the root of the epidemic. That discovery led to the decline of the disease as city's began to improve their drinking water systems with more sanitary conditions.

Catching Cholera

Drinking unclean water that has been contaminated with cholera bacteria is the typical usual route for getting sick, though eating food that has been exposed to dirty water will also do it. It is not transferred from person to person in any way.

Signs and Symptoms

Severe diarrhea and vomiting are the main symptoms of cholera. The diarrhea is often described as having the appearance of "rice water", being very thin and grayish in color. Losing 10 to 20 quarts of liquid in diarrhea each day, a patient will quickly become dangerously dehydrated. With that comes lethargy, clammy skin, labored breathing and muscle cramps. Without any treatment, eventually it will bring on low blood pressure, seizure and death.


The simplest treatment for cholera is to simply keep the patient hydrated. Water alone is better than nothing, but a proper rehydration formula that is better balanced in electrolytes is better. Commercial products are fine, if they are available. If not, you can use 1 quart of boiled water, mixed with 1/2 tsp of salt and 6 tsp of sugar.

If antibiotics are available, you can dramatically shorten the duration of the disease with doxycycline, erythromycin or ciprofloxacin. Areas where cholera is an ongoing problem (like India and Bangladesh), there can be some antibiotic resistance with tetracycline though it would be viable option elsewhere.


Besides the obvious approach of not drinking dirty water, there are some other preventative measures you can keep in mind. Boiling and filtration is enough to sanitize your drinking water to prevent cholera infection, and if you suspect that this may be a serious problem for you in the future, you can also get vaccinated.

Risk Assessment

It's generally not a problem in first-world countries, but in a disaster situation, water supplies may become limited. For example, there was an outbreak of cholera in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Having to rely on questionable sources for water may bring cholera to the forefront in some areas, so its definitely a disease to keep an eye on.  

Ultimate Survival Knife & Kit

List Price: 61.99

Our Price: 39.95

This 15 inch survival knife with drop point blade features a thick quality stainless steel blade with serrated top edge. Textured and ribbed solid metal handle and guard. Nylon sheath. Survival kit includes a hollow grip with a compass top to store items within the knife itself, as well as additional pouches on the sheath to hold the rest. Complete survival kit.

Click Here to Buy the Survival Knife Now.

Copyright © 2001 - 2023 Jalic Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Advertise Here | Contact Us