Cholera. Cholera is an acute bacterial infection of the small intestine caused by Vibrio cholerae which is spread in contaminated food & water. It is estimated to affect 3 to 5 million people & to cause > 100,000 deaths per year world-wide. 5 to 10% have severe illness with symptoms/ signs of abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, leg cramps,lethargy, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. The.