Cholera is a bacterial infection found in contaminated food and water. It is is common in places with poor sanitation, for example where sewage comes into contact with drinking water.
It also arises in the developed world where seafood like shellfish and plankton have been contaminated, but this is rare. Here’s everything you need to know about the cholera travel vaccine.
Cholera is often mild and some people don’t experience any symptoms at all. Around 10-20% will develop severe symptoms, which can be fatal.
People with severe cholera can experience really bad diarrhoea and vomiting. If left untreated it can lead to chronic dehydration, a drop in blood pressure and, eventually, shock. In very serious cases it can be fatal. Common cholera symptoms include:
- Large amounts of watery diarrhoea containing small rice-sized flecks of white material made of mucus and skin cells, with a fishy smell
- A fast heart rate and low blood pressure
- Lost skin elasticity, slightly wrinkly
- Dry mucous membranes, for example in your nose
- Low blood pressure
- Thirst and muscle cramps
- Feeling restless and irritable
While it’s essential, this vaccine doesn’t always provide full protection. Some strains are not affected and a bad case can still make you very ill indeed. The best strategy is prevention, which is mostly common sense. Keep away from people infected with cholera. Stick to bottled drinking water, avoiding ice at all costs. Maintain high levels of hygiene and steer clear of suspect, grubby-looking restaurants and street food vendors.
- Vaccine name – Dukorol, an inactivated vaccine which can be taken at the same time as other common vaccinations
- Administration – orally
- Dose – Dissolved in around 150ml of water
- Course – Adults: 2 doses 1-6 weeks apart, children (aged 2-6): 3 doses 1-6 weeks apart. We recommend you finish your course at least a week before you travel
- Boosters – If it has been more than six weeks between doses, we’ll need to re-start the course from scratch. A booster can be given to adults two years after the first course, and the same for children aged 2-6. A booster can also be given six months after the first dose for children aged 2-6. And if more than two years have passed since the last time you had the vaccine, the first course will need to be restarted.
- Side effects – Rare nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Rare coughing and inflamed mucous membranes in your nose (rhinitis). Very rare sore throat and problems sleeping (insomnia)
- Special Certificate requirements – None
- Special instructions – Avoid food and drinks for an hour before and after taking the vaccination
The cholera vaccine lasts 2 years.
We provide cholera vaccinations in our spotless, clean, efficient, professionally run specialist London vaccination clinic.
- Cholera, Dukorol, Course of Two (Adult): £47.50 per dose
- Cholera, Dukorol, Course of Three (Child): £47.50 per dose
Our London Travel Clinics
All 3 of our centrally located travel clinics are convenient for people living and working in London. Liverpool Street, London Bridge and High St Kensington. We are open early morning, lunchtime, evening and weekends and provide all of the vaccinations and medications that you need.