Typical symptoms of Cholera:
Symptoms will not always develop, but when they do it can be very fast, within a few hours, and at the most within a few days.
These include severe, watery diarrhoae which can causes dangerous levels of dehydration; nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. The dehydration can lead to a drop in blood pressure so severe that it can cause shock. Without treatment, cholera can lead to death.
Cholera is caused by the Vibrio cholera bacteria, and is contracted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated. This is most common in places that have poor water sanitation and sewage, where the bacteria is found in the tap water and can contaminate public water supplies, ice, and vegetables that have been rinsed in it.
What to do next
If you are concerned that you or one of your family members has contracted cholera, or would like to find out about options for vaccination and travel advice, please make an appointment to speak to one of our specialists, who can advise you on the best course of action.
If you are traveling in an area where cholera is present, avoid ice made from tap water, and eat only well-cooked food that is served hot. Avoid raw seafood and raw vegetables, unless it is a fruit that you can peel. Ice-cream can also be contaminated and should be avoided.
The most important part of cholera treatment is rehydration, as the effects of dehydration can be so severe. Rehydration is fast and effective using electrolytes and may be given intravenously.
Yes, there is a liquid vaccine which can be taken in 2-3 doses 1-6 weeks apart. The vaccine is around 85% effective and its efficacy gradually reduces over time. Boosters are available.