What is cholera?

Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial infection of the small intestine caused by Vibrio cholerae. The disease can be mild and may even not lead to any symptoms in some people. However, in many cases, it causes severe diarrhoea with vomiting. This condition can quickly lead to serious loss of fluid in the body termed as dehydration and in worst cases can be fatal.

One can contract Cholera from contaminated drinking water or consume infected shellfish and other foods. It can also spread from person-to person.

A cholera vaccination is available to protect you when travelling, although most people will not need it because food and water hygiene precautions are usually enough to prevent infection.

If you are travelling to a country where cholera is widespread, particularly for aid workers and people who are likely to have limited access to medical services, then getting a vaccination against cholera is highly recommended.

Cholera travel vaccines are easily available at your private clinics with a valid prescription. For Cholera vaccination Service in Hampton, contact Herbert & Shrive clinic.

Which countries are at risk?

The worst affected areas are the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, Africa and South America. The risk to travellers even in infected areas is still quite small.

Consider getting a cholera vaccination if you are planning to visit any of the countries listed below:
  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chad, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria.
  • Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania and Yemen.

General precautions:

  • While you are travelling, only drink water from a sealed bottle or from sources that have been treated by filtration, tablets or boiling.
  • Avoid ice from unknown water sources. Avoid uncooked food and only eat fruit that you can peel.
  • Ensure that the food is freshly cooked and consumed hot. Ensure personal hygiene and consider hand washing whenever needed.

Cholera vaccine:

  • It is administered orally dissolving the sachet contents in water. For individuals above the age of six, two doses are mandatory.
  • No food/ water should be consumed one hour before and after the administering cholera vaccination.
  • The course of immunisation should be complete before a week before the travel.
  • The vaccine does not provide complete protection which necessitates following strict hygiene practices while travelling.
  • Also, if the exposure is prolonged to the areas with high risk, it demands a booster dose to keep you safe.

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