What Is Cholera?
Cholera is a bacterial infection found in food or water sources contaminated with feces (poop). Over 600 million people throughout the globe are at risk of contracting cholera. Between 3 and 5 million cases are reported each year accounting for over 100,000 deaths. Cholera cases are often under reported.
Symptoms of cholera usually appear after two to three days and include: The only cholera vaccine available in the U.S.
•Profuse, watery diarrhea
•Vomiting •Leg cramps
•Rapid fluid loss •Dehydration
•Shock Symptoms are often mild; some cases will not even show symptoms. But, even mild cholera symptoms can ruin a trip with vomiting or diarrhea. A person with cholera can pass up to a liter of diarrhea per hour. Up to 20 percent of cholera patients will develop severe symptoms. Without treatment, the infection can kill within hours.
Who is at risk of cholera?
You can catch cholera from: • drinking unclean water • eating food (particularly shellfish) that's been in unclean water • eating food that's been handled by an infected person The risk of getting it while travelling is very small. It's mainly found in places without a clean water supply or modern sewage system, such as parts of Africa and Asia.
How to avoid cholera infection?
The key to cholera prevention is practicing food and water precautions and hand hygiene in areas with cholera outbreaks. Clinicians may consider a number of factors when assessing a traveler's risk, including:
• Intensity of transmission at the traveler’s destination • Rarity of severe cholera in most travelers • Risk factors for exposure to cholera (for example, performing aid work in outbreak settings) • Risk factors for poor outcomes (for example, limited access to medical care, or medical conditions worsened by dehydration) • Traveler’s ability to adhere to food and water precautions • Availability of medical care (intravenous rehydration) at the destination.
What Is the Cholera Vaccine (Vaxchora)?
Vaxchora is a vaccine against some of the bacteria that causes cholera (vibrio cholerae serogroup O1). It is the best line of defense against cholera infection, providing significant protection against cholera. The vaccine is recommended for adult travelers 18 to 64 years old going to cholera affected regions. How Does Vaxchora Work? Vaxchora is a live, attenuated vaccine. This means the cholera strains within the vaccine produce an incomplete, nontoxic version of the toxin. The body responds to this safe version of cholera and creates an immunity to the infection.