Cholera affects many people across the world. It’s important to get a Cholera Vaccination for all UK citizens who are going to a country where Cholera is ‘widespread’.
Typically, Cholera is spread by unsafe water and unsafe food that has been contaminated with human faeces containing the bacteria. Generally, the ‘risk’ factors for Cholera include poor drinking water, poor sanitation and areas with poverty.
Cholera affects around 5 million people around the world, and there’s up to 100,000 deaths per year. In the United Kingdom and the rest of the developed world, the infection is classed as ‘rare’, however in third world nations it’s classed as a ‘pandemic’.
Areas with ‘high risk’ of cholera include Africa and South-East Asia. If you’re unsure about the country you’re visiting, please seek professional advice from the UK Foreign office about what health requirements that they recommend.
What is the price of the Vaccine?
The Cholera Vaccination is normally available on the NHS, in some cases it’s free, however this can vary depending on individual trusts. You may have to pay a fee. The Cholera Vaccination will usually take place at your local doctor’s surgery, a local health centre or the local NHS Hospital.
The Cholera Vaccine is also available through a private hospital or private healthcare. If you have Health Insurance check with your insurance company to see if a Cholera Vaccination is covered as standard. There’s no point in paying, if the vaccine is already covered as part of your policy!
How does the Cholera Vaccination work?
The Cholera Vaccine is usually given as a drink, typically you need to avoid drinking or eating about an hour before the vaccine. The vaccination ingredients tend to be mixed with water, so medication usually needs avoiding an hour before too. Please speak to your GP before your Cholera Vaccination for more advice.
Generally, all adults and children over the age of six require two doses of the vaccine. This will typically protect against the infection for two years. After the two years have past, a ‘booster’ vaccine is required if the person continues to be in a country where Cholera is a health risk.
Children who are aged two to six will need three doses of the vaccine. This generally protects them for six months. After this period, they will need a ‘booster’ if required.
You will find that the Cholera Vaccine requires doses to be taken six weeks apart. This is important to remember as if you forget and more than six weeks passes between doses, you will have to start the full vaccine course again.
At this current moment in time, there’s mixed advice for children under two years having the Cholera vaccine, for more information please seek professional advice from your Doctor.
As this vaccine is important, you need to consider the start date of your journey. Typically you should have completed the doses of the vaccine at least one week before you travel.
You should always notify your Doctor or the nurse before your vaccination if:
• You are Pregnant, think you’re Pregnant or Breastfeeding
• Have a High Temperature
• Have an Upset Stomach
• Have a Weakened Immune System
• Could be allergic to the Vaccine Ingredients
Typically the nurse or doctor may get additional ‘advice’ if any of the above applies to you. In some cases, the vaccine may need to be delayed, however only a professional healthcare worker can access your individual circumstance.
Cholera Vaccine Side Effects
Just like most vaccinations, sometimes there can be side effects. Typically less than 1 in 100 people will experience short-term symptoms related to the Cholera vaccine. If this does occur most people report mid stomach upset, diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal pain. Generally speaking ‘severe’ reactions to the vaccine are rare.
Learn More about Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine, which can produce little to no symptoms at all in the early stages. The ‘classic’ symptom of Cholera is large amounts of ‘watery diarrhea’, this tends to last for a few days. In most cases people also report muscle cramps and vomiting.
More ‘severe’ cases of Cholera include ‘sunken eyes’, cold skin, wrinkling of the hands and feet and decreased skin elasticity. There tends to also be major dehydration too.
In most cases Cholera is the result of poor sanitation, poor drinking water and poverty. Prevention of the infection is greatly increased when sanitation and access to clean water is improved.
The transmission of Cholera is usually through the ‘fecal-oral route’. This means food or water is contaminated because of the result of poor sanitation. Typically when Cholera is passed through food it’s mainly in under-cooked seafood.
The usual ‘on-set’ of Cholera varies between two hours and five days after the initial exposure. The normal diagnostic method of telling whether somebody has the infection is a stool test. This is when the feces of an infected person is tested under laboratory conditions.
The most common ‘error’ when treating Cholera patients is the amount of fluids which the body needs. The speed of rehydration needs to happy quite quickly to help the body fight the infection. In most cases,
Cholera can usually be treated successfully with oral rehydration, however always get professional medical advice if you suspect yourself or somebody you know might have Cholera. Never attempt to ‘treat yourself’ without professional medical advice.