How is cholera diagnosed?

When a large outbreak of cholera occurs, the diagnosis can be easily made due to the common symptoms of the disease. The only way to formally diagnose cholera is to take a sample of the sick person's stool. If cholera is indeed the cause of symptoms, laboratory testing will show the presence of the Vibrio cholerae bacteria in the stool.

LB Wong
Orthopedic Nursing
Typically in an outbreak situation, it is difficult to obtain stool samples.  Therefore, cholera must then be diagnosed by its common symptoms such as:  watery diarrhea; vomiting; and severe weakness.  Stools have a "rice-water" appearance -- grey and slightly cloudy with flecks of mucus.

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