Cholera is an infection of your small bowel. It causes very bad loose stools full of water. This leads to serious fluid loss in your body. You can get this illness when you eat or drink food or water that has the cholera germ. This germ is often found in crowded areas with poor sanitation. Cholera is a serious condition. Replacing lost fluids is very important. If left untreated, it may lead to very bad fluid loss and death.