- Low risk
- Moderate risk
- High risk
Cholera is an infection caused by the bacterium, vibrio cholera. The infection affects the bowels causing watery diarrhoea and sometimes vomiting, which can result in severe dehydration. Cholera can be fatal if medical attention is not sought immediately. Cholera is transmitted through infected water which has been contaminated by faeces or eating infected foods.
Where is cholera found?
Cholera is found throughout the world, particularly in countries where sanitation is poor — especially parts of Africa, Central America, India and South East Asia.
You can prevent getting cholera and other water-borne infections by avoiding contaminated water and having good personal / food hygiene. Use only bottled drinking water and avoid unhygienic restaurants and food vendors.
Dukoral is the vaccine which helps to protect against cholera and has been available since 2004. It is advised for people travelling to high risk places where cholera may occur. At Cosmopolitan Medical Clinic, our doctor or nurse will advise if you should consider having this vaccine. Women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss their itinerary and risk profile with our travel nurse.
Urgent medical attention is required if a person has contracted cholera. Intravenous fluid replacement therapy and antibiotics are often required.
The vaccine is given in 2 doses for people over 6 years old and 3 doses for children 2 — 6 years old. Each dose is given at least one week apart. The course of immunisation should be finished at least one week before potentially coming into contact with cholera. Typically, this is one week before travel.
A booster dose is needed to maintain protection. This is after 2 years for people over 6 years old, and after 6 months for children 2 — 6 years old. The cholera vaccine can be given at the same time as other injected vaccines.