Cholera is a disease caused by a bacterial infection of the intestine. The bacterium causes the lining of the intestine to produce large amounts of fluid, causing acute diarrhoea and vomiting.
Untreated, this can be deadly, causing death by intense dehydration, sometimes within a matter of hours. However, treatment is simple and, if the disease is caught early enough, highly effective.
Outbreaks of cholera often happen where there is inadequate access to clean water, rubbish collection and toilets. This means MSF logisticians and water and sanitation specialists play a vital role in preventing cholera outbreaks in the areas where we work.