What Is The Difference Between Diarrhoea And Cholera?

What Is The Difference Between Diarrhoea And Cholera?

Gastrointestinal problems (aka traveller’s diarrhoea) are a common occurrence for traveller’s, especially when travelling to developing countries without adequate sanitation. There are numerous conditions and diseases that cause diarrhoea including dysentery, food poisoning, cholera, and hepatitis A.

Modern sanitation systems have pretty much wiped-out cholera breakouts in most countries. But cholera still exists in Haiti, Africa, and Southeast Asia. If you are travelling to areas where cholera is still prevalent, you should consider getting the cholera vaccination to protect yourself.

Anna Pharmacy has many convenient branches in South London that offer the vaccination for cholera. You can get the cholera vaccination in Wallington, as well as our other branches in Sutton, Hackbridge, and Croydon.

In this article, we will explain the primary differences between diarrhoea and cholera.

What Is the Difference Between Diarrhoea and Cholera?

If you are travelling in any of the countries mentioned above and you come down with a bad case of diarrhoea, it’s important to know whether it is cholera-induced diarrhoea, so you can get the proper treatment. 


Diarrhoea typically comes in the form of loose, watery stool, and frequent bowel movements that are typically a mustard-yellow colour. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain at the same time. Often, food poisoning, food allergies, or gastrointestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease are the cause of diarrhoea. Luckily, this condition isn’t serious and is usually short-lived, lasting no more than a few days. In most cases, standard over-the-counter medications can help to manage symptoms of diarrhoea quickly.


Cholera, on the other hand, is a bacterial disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria that is typically spread through contaminated food and water. Cholera causes severe and acute diarrhoea and dehydration. Left untreated, cholera can be fatal within hours due to extreme dehydration.

Cholera-related diarrhoea appears suddenly and can quickly cause dangerous fluid loss due to constant diarrhoea. People can lose much as as1 liter of bodily fluids per hour which causes dehydration quickly. Diarrhoea due to cholera also has a different appearance. It has a pale, liquid-like, and milky appearance.

Mild cases of Cholera usually go away within a week. However, hospitalisation and treatment are required to treat dehydration in severe cases. 

Where Can I Get the Cholera Vaccination?

Anna Pharmacy offers travel health services at each of our South London pharmacies. Make an appointment for the cholera vaccination in Hackbridge or at any of our other branches.