Cholera

What is Cholera?
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The disease is characterized in its most severe form by a sudden onset of acute watery diarrhoea that can lead to death by severe dehydration and kidney failure.

How is Cholera transmitted?
A person may get Cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the Cholera bacterium. The Cholera bacterium may also live in the environment in brackish rivers and coastal waters. Shellfish ingested raw or undercooked has been a source of Cholera. The disease is less likely to spread directly from one person to another; therefore, casual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill.

Why should I take the Cholera vaccination?
Unlike other diarrhoeal diseases, it can kill healthy adults within hours. Individuals with lower immunity, such as malnourished children or people living with HIV, are at greater risk of death if infected by cholera. Hence, vaccination is recommended if one is travelling to an area with no access to safe water.

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