This is part two of the Oregon Trail series. Awhile back I talked about dysentery. While dysentery comes from a lack of proper hygiene; cholera comes from unclean water used for drinking or cooking. There are bacteria and or viruses with long names with long Latin names involved but for laymen like me they don't matter. Cholera is the other half of what could be called the "shit yourself to death" illnesses. Almost unheard of in modern nations but very common in developing countries.
Prevention is fairly easy. Start with a plan to provide your family with clean potable drinking water. Our friends Directive 21 and Our Happy Homestead sell Berkley filters as well as smaller more portable options. I am preferential to them because they keep the blog going. However you can find quality water filters all over the place. Big name brands like Berkley and Katadyn as well as a couple others are the way to go.
Be especially careful when dealing with or treating people who have cholera. Their butt pee is highly contagious. Wash clothes, bedding and anything that gets messy separately and clean the washer or whatever afterwords. It is prudent to segregate the sick to avoid spreading the problem. If possible only have those treating them interact with the sick. Bleach water and rubber gloves are your friend.
Treatment is largely the same as dysentery with re hydration being the main push. Oral re hydration is followed by IV re hydration in extreme situations if they can't keep fluids down. Antibiotics can shorten the course of the virus.
Have a plan to be able to reliably provide clean water for drinking and cooking so you don't die of cholera.