What is Cholera?

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. If left untreated cholera can lead to rapid dehydration which in extreme cases can be life threatening. Cholera is found in many parts of Africa and Asia.

Cholera is transmitted through faecal contamination of water particularly in areas with inadequate water and sanitation facilities such as refugee camps or as result of natural disasters. Contaminated fish and shellfish are also common routes of transmission.

Who is at risk from Cholera?

Activities which predispose to infection including drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked seafood in areas where cholera is present increases risk of infection. Travellers living or working in less sanitary conditions such as relief workers in disaster or refugee camps are at higher risk.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of cholera are sudden onset of profuse, watery diarrhoea (“rice-water” stools) with occasional vomiting. Symptoms can occur usually 2-5 days after infection but may also occur within a few hours. Dehydration is the most common complication of the disease. Severe disease can be life threatening.

Can I use the DC Chloera Vaccination Service?

There is a vaccine for cholera, but most people do not need it. It is usually only recommended if either:

  • You are travelling to an are where cholera is common, and you will be vising remote places without access to medical care
  • You are an aid or disaster worker going to an area where a cholera outbreak is likely.

  • The vaccine is given as a drink. For adults, 2 doses (given 1 to 6 weeks apart) can provide for up to 2 years protection. You need to have both doses at least a week before departure.

    Cholera may not be suitable for:
  • Those with previous allergic reaction to chloera vaccine or any of its ingredients
  • Those with weakened immune system
  • Predisposed neurological conditions

  • Those with acute gastrointestinal illness or high temperature may need to postpone taking the vaccines until acute illness is settled.

    Your DC pharmacist will double check your suitability for the vaccine.

What are the side effects to the Cholera Vaccine?

The most common side effects include:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea and loose stools
  • feeling or being sick (nausea and vomiting)

What happens next?

  1. Book a virtual consultation via online portal
  2. A DC pharmacist will review your suitability for the yellow fever vaccine service
  3. Receive vaccine at our centres

What happens next?

The first consultation will take 15 – 30 minutes (depending on your past medical history). The vaccination appointment will take 30 minutes (including a 15 minutes observed wait in case of severe reaction)