How is cholera treated?

If you are having severe diarrhea, especially if you think you may have been exposed to cholera, seek medical attention right away. A person with a severe diarrhea can become dehydrated very quickly, and can die. To prevent this, you may need to have an intravenous (through a needle) injection of fluids.

If there is not a medical facility nearby (which is often the case in poorer areas that are most likely to have cholera), oral rehydration solution (ORS), a prepackaged blend of sugars and salts mixed with water, can help most people. Do not stop drinking it until you have seen a medical professional. Almost all cholera patients who get fluids promptly will survive.

If you have an infant who may have cholera, continue breastfeeding if possible. This will provide important nutrition to the child.

Antibiotics can help cholera patients recover more quickly and reduce their symptoms. However, antibiotics are less important than getting enough hydration.

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