What is Cholera?

Cholera is an infection that occurs in the small intestine. It is caused by a bacteria called vibrio cholerae. The cholera bacteria is made pathogenic by one of its parasites, the CTX virus which produces a toxin causing the symptoms of Cholera. Symptoms include watery diarrhoea, which can eventually lead to dehydration and can even lead to death if left untreated.


What causes Cholera?

It usually occurs in countries that lack social development and is caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water. It takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water.

Who should have the Cholera vaccine?

If you are an adult between the ages of 18 and 64 and are travelling to an area endemic for Cholera, you should consider obtaining the Cholera vaccine. Cholera is found mostly in tropical locations, but it is specifically endemic in:

  •  Asia
  • Africa
  • Latin America
  • India
  • Middle East

Vaccine Effectiveness

The Cholera vaccine is not 100% effective, so additional measures should be taken in addition to your vaccines. Additional measures to prevent cholera include: 

  • Drinking safe water (and brushing teeth!) 
  • Using safe water to wash, prepare food and make ice 
  • Wash your hands regularly and often with soap and safe water 
  • Use latrines to bury your faeces, do not poo in any water

Cholera symptoms and treatment

Cholera symptoms are usually mild and can begin within hours of contracting the infection. About ⅕ of the time, an infected person will have severe watery diarrhoea with vomiting. This can lead to severe dehydration. Dehydration symptoms include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Dry mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat and mouth)
  • Low blood pressure
  • Thirst
  • Muscle cramps3

Anna Pharmacy now provides the Cholera vaccine in Carshalton, Sutton, Hackbridge, Wallington and Croydon.