Welcome to the Food Borne Disease Site. The sources of the foodborne illness pathogens are ubiquitous. Food and food products will always be contaminated with low levels of pathogens. At low levels, pathogenic microorganisms cause no problems. At illness thresholds, however, they can make people ill and cause death.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Cholera is a bacterial disease that affects the intestinal tract. The bacterium is called Vibrio cholera. Although cholera is a very rare disease today, six worldwide outbreaks were documented between 1817 and 1911 that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Currently, only a few cas es are reported in the United States each year.

While cholera is a rare disease, those who may be at risk include people traveling to foreign countries where outbreaks are occurring and people who consume raw or undercooked seafood from warm coastal waters subject to sewage contamination. In both instances, the risk is quite small.

The cholera bacteria is passed in the stools (feces). It is spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated by the fecal waste of an infected person. This occurs more often in underdev eloped countries lacking adequate water supplies and proper sewage disposal. People exposed to cholera may experience mild to severe diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. Fever is usually absent.
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