Travel Advice – What You Need to Know About Cholera

Cholera Bacteria
Cholera can be dangerous for some people and so we recommend you visit our Travel Clinic for a Cholera Vaccination.

If you are travelling to Africa, Asia, Latin America and parts of the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, then you will need a cholera vaccination.  Make an appointment at the travel clinic with us here at the pharmacy. Then we can go through your travel plans and advise you about the vaccinations you should have, if any.

What is Cholera?

Cholera is a bacterial infection that affects your intestines. The bacterium responsible is Vibrio cholerae. It is transmitted through contaminated food or water.

What are the symptoms?

Healthy people may not have symptoms or if they do, they will be mild. But for others, the condition can be very serious and will need immediate treatment to avoid death.

The symptoms are nausea, vomiting and a lot of watery diarrhoea. It is important to treat the symptoms of cholera quickly because it can lead to severe dehydration which will put the body into shock.   

What Can I do to Protect Myself?

Don’t drink the tap water, use it to clean your teeth, or take ice in your drinks. Stick to factory-produced bottles or cans that are already sealed for cold drinks. Tea and coffee made with boiled water are fine if you want a hot drink.

Foods   with a skin which you need to peel such as oranges or bananas are fine to eat. Other safe foods include pasteurised yoghurt, cheese and milk. If the cheese, yoghurt and milk are unpasteurised then avoid them.

Wash and peel any uncooked fruit and vegetables yourself and avoid eating from buffets if the food is uncovered.

Don’t eat salads as the ingredients may have been washed in contaminated water and avoid meat that’s raw or undercooked. Leave shellfish, oysters and fish alone.

If you want to eat street food, make sure the street vendor cooks it in front of you and served hot on a clean plate or container.

 Wash your hands regularly and use an alcohol gel, if possible, especially when washing facilities aren’t available.

Watery diarrhoea or vomiting, excessive thirst and pee with a strong smell are signs you may have cholera. If you have these symptoms when you are abroad, or when you get home, contact a doctor and tell them where you have been.

How Do I Find Out if Cholera is Prevalent in the Country I am Visiting?

You can read more about Cholera and country information by browsing the Travel Health Pro website.

How Can VSM Pharmacy Help?

Make an appointment at the travel clinic. When you arrive for your appointment, We’ll ask you some questions about your trip. We’ll then give you personalised advice about how to reduce your risk of catching cholera. We’ll also advise you about travel-related medications and what vaccines you need.

How is the Cholera Vaccine Administered?

The Cholera vaccine is in the form of a drink. The name of the vaccine is Dukoral. This vaccine is approved by the World Health Organisation.  Children over the age of two can also have the vaccine.

You must have the vaccine at least 2 weeks before you travel.

You will need to have two doses, one week apart. you’ll be protected for up to 2 years after this time you should have a booster.

How Much is the Vaccination?

The cost for each dose currently (2024) is £39.99, so the two doses will be £79.98 in total.

How do I Make an Appointment for the Travel Clinic?

You can pop into the pharmacy and talk to a member of staff. You can phone us on 01276 21002 or you can book online by clicking the green button on this page.

VSM Pharmacy is always happy to give you help and advice about your health concerns. Read our blog to find out more about our services and common health conditions.


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