Cholera

SafeGard Travel Medicine physicians recommend the cholera vaccine for travelers based on specific risk criteria. The travel pharmacies we work with provide the cholera vaccine.

What is cholera?

Cholera is a bacterial infection spread though contaminated food and water. Severe cholera is known for its large amounts of watery stools (sometimes called 'rice-water stools'). Nausea and vomiting may accompany the diarrhea. Untreated, particularly in children and the elderly, the loss of fluid can result in death. Immediate medical care is therefore extremely important. Replacement of lost body fluids can greatly minimize the loss of life.

How can I prevent cholera?

Common sense practices, such as eating safe foods, drinking safe water and observing good hygiene, are always important when traveling, but especially if you will be in an area where cholera is a potential concern. Additionally, if the cholera vaccine is recommended for your trip, you should be vaccinated at least 10 days prior to possible exposure. The vaccines are not 100% effective in all cases, so you should always maintain good hygiene and safe eating and drinking habits.

Who should get the vaccine?

Cholera is most prevalent in developing countries of South Asia and Africa. The location and timing of outbreaks can be quite unpredicatable, but our physicians use an algorithm that evaluates your destination countries, your length of stay, the purpose of your visit, your lodgings and any medical risk factors, to arrive at a determination of whether or not you should consider getting the cholera vaccine. When recommended, you should seriously consider getting the protection.