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What is Cholera?

Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial infection of the bowel caused by Vibrio Cholera. It occurs in areas of poor sanitation but does not present as a high risk if certain precautions are taken, such as avoidance of potentially contaminated food and water sources.

In Central and South America, Africa, and Asia it is estimated that 3-5 million people are affected every year.

The bacterial infection has an incubation period of 6 – 72 hours. The infection may result in mild to extreme diarrhoea and vomiting. This can result in extreme dehydration and the effects can last from 1 – 7 days. Fever is not usually present.

Treatment usually consists of Antibiotics and fluid replacement.

Cholera is vaccine-preventable, with the cholera vaccine offering up to 90% protection against the disease for a 2-year period. The vaccine (Dukoral) is not an injection but a drink. Protection is gained for up to 2 years after taking two drinks 1-6 weeks apart. Ideally the second drink should be taken 1 week before travel.


Where are the risk areas?

Areas of risk include:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South Asia

  • Central and South America


How old to you have to be to have the vaccine?

The vaccine can be given to those aged 2 years and over


How long does immunity last for?

Immunity lasts for 2 years.


Vaccination Schedule 

2 courses (1-6 weeks apart)

Children under 6 years require 3 doses



Additional information

For more information, click here

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