What is Cholera and How does it spread?
Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the toxigenic bacterium Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1 or O139. The cholera bacterium is usually found in water or food sources that have been contaminated by feces (poop) from a person infected with cholera. Cholera is most likely to be found and spread in places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and inadequate hygiene. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water. The disease is not likely to spread directly from one person to another; therefore, casual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill.
What is Cholera Vaccine and Why should Travelers get the vaccine?
Cholera, vaccination is called Dukoral and currently recommended for Canadian travelers. The vaccine is administered orally in two doses one taken up to six weeks prior to departure and the second taken at least one week before the trip. The vaccination protects against travelers’ diarrhea for up to three months and from cholera infection for up to two years. A single booster dose is recommended every three months for those travelers staying in an at-risk destination for a longer time period.
Who should get Cholera Vaccine
Travelers to countries where cholera is a risk. Travelers who visit friends and family in an outbreak area or working in high-risk settings. Travelers who work at higher risk such as refugee or cholera treatment centers.Travelers who stay longer or have less access to safe food and water.Extra precaution should be taken when travelling to the following locations: Haiti / Dominican republic / Cuba / Tanzania
- Watery diarrhea,
- Rapid dehydration
What can travelers do to prevent the disease?
- Safe eating and drinking practices.
- Eat raw vegetables, having peeled them and wash properly before a consumer
- Safe drinking water
- Avoid salads or raw foods made with fresh produce
- Have drinks without ice, as the water used in the cubes may be contaminated
- Eat properly cooked foods only when they are served hot
- Brush your teeth with drinking-safe water
- Boil water or use a chemical disinfectant, or treat your water with an ultraviolet light