Cholera is a bacterial infection of the intestines. Epidemics tend to happen in areas crowded with people with very poor hygiene facilities (particularly slums and refugee camps) and areas affected by floods and rainy seasons.
Profuse diarrhoea is the main symptom. Sometimes diarrhoea can be accompanied by vomiting.
1. How do you catch it?
Cholera is usually spread by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with Cholera bacteria. The source of the contamination is usually the faeces of contaminated person. This occurs more often in underdeveloped countries lacking proper water supplies and sewage disposal.
2. Who gets it?
Regardless of age, people who consume food or drink contaminated with Cholera bacteria are at risk of getting Cholera.
The risk of catching cholera can be lowered by only drinking bottle water whilst abroad and through good personal hygiene. Avoiding raw or undercooked seafood will also reduce the risk.
4. Vaccination options
There is only one vaccine available to get yourself prepared for Cholera! The vaccine is not given to you via an injection, instead this vaccine is administered orally in the form of a liquid. It’s almost like having a cup of water (albeit flavoured due to the vaccine of course!).
Number of doses? 2 doses, 1 to 6 weeks apart (3 doses for young children).
When to do the course? Ideally, the last dose should be given to you two weeks before your trip, although even a day before your trip is acceptable as form of protection.
Booster doses? The vaccine lasts for 2 years. Booster would be recommended thereafter.
Age restrictions? Vaccine is recommended for everyone above the age of 2.
5. At risk destinations
The disease is found throughout the world particularly in countries where sanitation is poor, particularly parts
of Africa, India and South East Asia