Cholera is a bacterial disease that directly affects the stomach and intestines. It causes a number of digestive problems and symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting and gastroenteritis, or stomach flu. These primary symptoms may have an effect on other parts of the body, notes Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library.
The bacterium that causes cholera, or Vibrio cholerae, is ingested through infected food or water. Generally, stomach acid kills the bacteria, and in most cases the victim has little to no symptoms. If it is not killed, the cholera bacteria causes digestive problems including gastroenteritis, vomiting and diarrhea. As with any infection, a patient may also have a fever. Because of vomiting and diarrhea, patients are likely to get dehydrated if special attention is not paid to their hydration, reports Johns Hopkins. This may lead to low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, dry mucous membranes and in severe cases, shock and death.