Worldwide Cholera outbreaks - more news from The Travel Clinic, Ipswich
There has been a number of Cholera outbreaks this year. In September alone there were outbreaks reported from Guinea Bissau, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Iraq.
Prevention is always better than cure. There is a Cholera vaccine available at The Travel Clinic Ltd, Cambridge and Ipswich, called Dukoral. This is taken by mouth, two doses with one week apart.
We recommend this to travellers going to at risk areas who may not be able to be able to source well cooked food or also boiled water.
Cholera infection is caused by contaminated food or water, which can occur commonly after floods or disruption to sanitation. Cholera causes a sudden onset of watery diarrhoea often accompanied by vomiting. One can pass as much as 22 liters of diarrhoea in 24 hours. Travellers should always boil water for three minutes prior to drinking or even cleaning teeth with it. Ensuring food is cooked thoroughly is another preventative measure that can reduce risk of transmission.
Most symptomatic cases are hard to distinguish from other illnesses that cause diarrhoea - it is only in one in 10 that have such severe symptoms such as to be admitted to hospital, indeed it may be thought of as a nasty bout of travellers' diarrhoea.
Treatment includes rehydration salts and drinking lots of water. Severely dehydrated patients may need intravenous fluids. Antibiotics can reduce the spread of the illness.