Cholera is a bacterial disease characterised by profuse watery diarrhoea. It is caused by the toxin producing forms of the bacteria Vibrio cholera.
It is usually contracted by ingesting contaminated water or food, with humans as the only known natural hosts. Cholera is common in many low-income countries and is usually associated with poverty, poor sanitation and poor access to clean drinking water.
The overall risk of cholera for travellers is extremely low. Activities that may increase risk of infection include drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked seafood in areas where outbreaks are occurring. Travellers living in unsanitary conditions, for example relief workers in disaster or refugee areas, are also at risk.