Cholera is a bacterial infection that can cause severe diarrhoea. It is not found in the UK but can be found where there is poor water sanitation and sewerage. It can be found in unclean water, food (particularly seafood) that has been rinsed in unclean water, ice or eating food that has been handled by an infected person. Symptoms usually occur within 12 hours to 5 days of exposure and is treated with rehydration and antibiotics.
- If you are travelling to an area where there is a risk of cholera:
- Use bottled water or boiled tap water
- Brush your teeth using bottled or boiled water
- Wash your hands frequently with soap using bottled or boiled water (allowed to cool) especially after using the toilet, eating or preparing food
- Avoid all ice in drinks
- Avoid ice cream
- Only eat uncooked vegetables and fruit if you have washed them in boiled/bottled water and prepared yourself
- Try to only eat fruit that you can peel
- Do not eat shell fish or sea food
The vaccine doesn’t offer complete protection but can reduce the risk and is given as a drink.
Symptoms may be mild but can be severe and can develop rapidly within a few hours and can include:
- Profuse watery diarrhoea
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Dry mucous membranes (like your nose and mouth)
- Muscle cramping
- Irritability and restlessness
- Over 6 years of age - course of 2 doses over a week.
- 2-6 years of age - course of 3 doses over a two-week period.