Cholera is a bacterial disease that is caused by drinking contaminated water. It can also be caused by consuming food that has itself been contaminated by coming into contact with contaminated water. The bacterium, once ingested, infects the small intestine. It can prove fatal. If you live and/or work here in London, and you will be travelling to a Cholera region, you can get preventative treatment and travel advice from Broadgate Walkin Travel Clinic London Wall.
Countries where risk of Cholera exists
It is estimated that there are somewhere between 3 to 5 million cases of Cholera per annum across the world as a whole. No cases of Cholera actually originating here in the UK have been registered for more than a century. However, inbound travellers do bring infection in with them from time to time, albeit there have been only 12 cases of imported Cholera since 2012.
Cholera manifests itself in regions with poor sanitation, where there is no clean water supply, and where food hygiene is questionable. Regions that are prone to natural disasters, or where wars break out and are sustained, are considered to be high risk areas.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the countries where risks are particularly prevalent include:
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Central Asia
- East Asia
- South-East Asia
- Central America
- South America
The number of deaths caused by Cholera in the year 2010 was between 100,000 and 130,000. To see a copy of the WHO world map, where Cholera risk is high, please click here.
The signs and symptoms of Cholera
Cholera symptoms usually present themselves somewhere between 1 to 5 days after the initial exposure. Common symptoms include:
- Vomiting a clear fluid
- Stomach cramps
- Diarrhoea, which is painless, pale and cloudy looking
The big danger with Cholera is the dehydration which takes place due to the diarrhoea and vomiting. Without sufficient rehydration, the skin takes on a greyish-blue tone.
Cholera and travel precautions
If you are staying in or travelling through areas where there is a high risk of Cholera, Broadgate Clinic London Wall offers the following travel advice.
- Only drink water from a bottle that has been correctly sealed, or if the water has been previously, recently boiled
- Do not indulge in eating ice-cream and avoid having ice in any drinks
- Only consume fruits and vegetables if you yourself have cleaned them in fresh non-contaminated water, or if you peel the fruit yourself
- It is recommended that you avoid eating prepared salads, and seafood including shellfish
Broadgate Clinic London Wall offers Cholera prevention vaccines for travellers
Here at Broadgate Walkin Clinic London Wall we offer a comprehensive range of travel vaccines for those who live and/or work here in the heart of London, and who will be travelling to high risk areas in the near future. The vaccine provides effective protection in 85% to 90% of cases, and once administered it will protect you for up to 2 years. The Cholera vaccine is now available in drink format. It is administered in 2 or 3 doses, which are normally given anywhere between 1 and 6 weeks apart
If you are travelling to one of the areas identified by the WHO as being high risk, we here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall may also suggest you take two Ducoral tablets, which are available over the counter from our in-house pharmacy.