Cholera is a disease that causes extreme diarrhoea. Even though there are no cases of cholera in the UK, there are very slight chances of getting in contact with it in other parts of the globe. That’s the main reason you should get a cholera vaccination in Coventry.
Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium containing cholera, is normally found in water or food contaminated by faeces from someone who has the infection. Common sources are:
– Ice made from municipal water
– Municipal water supplies
– Drinks and foods sold by vendors in the street
– Raw or undercooked seafood and fish caught in waters that have been polluted with sewage
– Vegetables irrigated with contaminated water
When someone consumes contaminated water or food, the bacteria release a toxin into the intestines, leading to severe diarrhoea.
The chances of contracting cholera while travelling are very small. It’s primarily found in regions without a clean water supply or good sewage systems. They include some parts of Asia and Africa.
Cholera symptoms can start showing as soon as a few hours or take up to five days after contracting the infection. Symptoms are mild in most cases. However, they can be severe in some cases. Around one out of twenty persons infected can witness severe watery diarrhoea and vomiting, which can lead to fast dehydration. Even though a good number of infected persons may experience minimal or no symptoms at all, they can still spread the infection to other people.
Maintaining good hygiene can go a long way in keeping cholera away during your travels.
– Clean your hands with soap and water on a regular basis. Especially after visiting the washrooms and before preparing food and eating
– Only use bottled water or tap water that’s been boiled
– Use bottled or boiled water to brush your teeth
Suppose you experience serious, watery diarrhoea and vomiting, especially when in a region where cholera is common or after taking raw seafood, seek medical attention immediately. Due to the dehydration that comes with cholera, it’s necessary that you get treatment immediately after you notice the symptoms.
Hydration is the main part of cholera treatment. This will include either oral or intravenous solutions to replace the lost fluids, or both, depending on the severity of the diarrhoea. Antibiotics are not included as emergency treatment in cases with mild symptoms. But they can reduce the excretion of bacteria as well as reduce the period of diarrhoea by half, which will reduce the rate at which the disease spreads.
Learn more about the cholera vaccine here:
Even though the cholera vaccine is available, most people do not require it.
It’s normally recommended only if:
– You are visiting regions where cholera cases are expected or visiting remote areas where you won’t have access to medical care
– You are an aid provider or relief management worker going to regions where there are high chances of a cholera outbreak
The vaccine is administered as a drink. Adults are given two doses (given between 1 to 6 weeks apart) and it can give protection for a period of up to 2 years.
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