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Estimating the Costs of Cholera


Cholera is a disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Infection typically occurs when a person consumes food or water contaminated by fecal matter containing the bacteria. The bacteria release a toxin that causes increased release of water in the intestines, which produces severe diarrhea and dehydration and, without medical attention, may result in death.

Cholera occurs mainly in parts of the world where sanitary conditions are poor, such as crowded urban environments in underdeveloped countries, and in places with war and famine.

Because cholera occurs in underdeveloped areas and the symptoms are similar to a number of other diarrheal diseases, this disease is drastically under-recognized and underreported. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that the number of cholera cases that are reported each year represents only 5% to 10% of the actual number of cases that occur worldwide.1 Given this level of underreporting, there are very few country-level estimates of the costs of this disease, and there are no global estimates of cholera costs.

In every country where cholera poses a risk, public health practitioners and political leaders must decide what resources can be applied to prevent and control the disease, a task made easier through cost-benefit analysis.

The IDCC cholera cost model provides an evidence-based calculation of cholera incidence and societal costs per country, including the direct costs incurred by the provision of health care and the indirect costs incurred by loss of productivity.

Go to Cholera Cost Model

Calculate the Cost of Cholera for Your Country

There are 3 ways to access IDCC cost analyses:

  1. Use the calculator to estimate disease costs for your country. Use the CUSTOMIZED calculator to change variables and customize your estimates.

  2. Explore IDCC estimates for cholera across the globe with our interactive maps.

  3. Download the IDCC spreadsheets to gain access to all IDCC variables and calculate the costs yourself.