Clinical Hallmarks and Diagnosis of Cholera

In this article, we will discuss the Clinical Hallmarks and Diagnosis of Cholera. So, let’s get started.

Clinical Hallmarks

  • Rapid onset of symptoms
  • Profuse watery diarrhea (liquid stools) typical rice water stool. There is loss of about 8-10 L of fluids
  • Absence of fever
  • Occasional vomiting
  • Symptoms and signs of dehydration, hypovolemic shock, acute renal failure, acidosis, hypokalemia


Diagnosis is easy during an epidemic and depends on clinical features. Confirmation is done by bacteriological culture of the stool for isolation, identification of agents – V.cholerae 01 and 0139 and antibiotic sensitivity. Stool specimens or rectal swabs must be taken for culture before antibiotic therapy. Agglutination of vibrios with specific sera can be demonstrated. It is better to collect the specimen and place it immediately in the transport medium viz Carry-Blair, Venkatraman Ramkrishnan fluid (V.R.fluid). If transport medium is not available, then blotting paper strips soaked in liquid stool may be preserved in sealed plastic bags.

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