Cholera: An infectious disease characterized by intense vomiting and profuse watery diarrhea and that rapidly leads to dehydration and often death. Cholera is caused by infection with the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, which may be transmitted via infected fecal matter, food, or water. With modern sanitation, cholera is no longer as common as it once was, but epidemics still occur whenever people must live in crowded and unsanitary conditions, such as in refugee camps. The disease is treated with intravenous fluids and with antibiotics. Cholera has also been known as Asian cholera, due to its one-time prevalence in that area of the world.