What is Cholera?

It is a bacterial infection that causes painless but profuse watery diarrhoea which rapidly leads to dehydration. Vomiting and leg cramps may also occur. The symptoms are usually mild. But profuse diarrhoea can lead to death if not treated promptly.

The Cholera bacteria are usually spread by water or food contaminated with infected faeces. Cholera can also occur in explosive outbreaks affecting many people eg. during disasters like flooding when sanitary conditions have broken down. Raw or uncooked seafood from polluted water can also cause such outbreaks.

The risk of an individual traveller contracting Cholera depends on many factors which should be discussed with your doctor.

Cholera can be simply and successfully treated by immediate replacement of fluid and salt lost through diarrhoea. Patients can be treated with oral rehydration solution, such as Gastrolyte, part of the Gastro Kit available at Travel Vaccination Health Care. In some circumstances, antibiotics are also used.


Prevention

When food and water precautions are observed, the risk of contracting may be reduced. Travellers to cholera-endemic zones for longer than 2-3 weeks are strongly recommended to have Cholera vaccination. Oral Cholera vaccination is an effervescent drink which provides 2