Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by a bacteria. The disease infects the small bowel and causes painless, watery diarrhea. Cholera is usually transmitted via infected water that has been contaminated by feces and less commonly via food, particularly shellfish.
The disease is found throughout the world particularly in countries where sanitation is poor, particularly parts of Africa, India, far east and South East Asia. Seek professional advice before traveling to these regions.
Prevention is based on ensuring safe water and food, this is more important in regions where cholera is common. Try to avoid consuming untreated water, unwashed fruits, and veg, salads, ice and shellfish, just to name a few. Good personal hygiene is essential. Individuals should ensure that they wash their hands frequently, prior to eating and after visiting the bathroom. Consider vaccination if you are traveling to risk areas.
In mild cases, the sufferer can experience watery diarrhea without pain and vomiting clear liquid. In severe cases, the symptoms are more intense, leaving the sufferer dehydrated and weak. If goes untreated, it can be fatal.
Travelers to high risk areas should consider vaccination against Hepatitis B virus. It is advisable to book a consultation with a travel clinic 6-8 weeks before your travel. There are single dose vaccines as well as combination vaccines with Hepatitis A available.