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The Dukoral cholera vaccine is an oral vaccine designed to prevent cholera. It requires two doses for full protection, with the doses usually given one to six weeks apart. Dukoral also provides partial protection against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), a cause of travellers’ diarrhoea.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae and is primarily spread through contaminated water and food. It can lead to severe dehydration and, in extreme cases, death if left untreated.

No need to book to see your GP. Our experienced travel health professionals are available to provide advice, prescriptions, and vaccinations for cholera, offering a quick and convenient service. in the Bristol, Cheltenham & Gloucester areas.

Vaccination Price per dose Price per course (2 doses)
 Cholera (Dukoral)  £32  £64


Preventing cholera effectively involves a combination of good hygiene practices, clean water, proper sanitation, and vaccination. Preventive measures include:

  • Safe Drinking Water: Use clean and safe drinking water by boiling water before drinking, using water purification tablets, or filtering water. Avoid ice in drinks.
  • Hand Hygiene: Regular hand washing with soap, especially after using the toilet and before handling food, is essential.
  • Proper Food Handling:Safe food preparation and storage practices also help reduce the risk of contamination. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked seafood and fruits or vegetables washed with contaminated water.
  • Cholera Vaccination:Travelers to areas with endemic cholera are also advised to get vaccinated.

    While cholera can be life-threatening, it is easily preventable and treatable. With rapid and appropriate treatment, the mortality rate is less than 1%. However, in untreated cases, the mortality rate can rise as high as 50-60%.

  • Countries at risk

    Some regions that have historically been at risk for cholera outbreaks include:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Many countries in this region face recurrent cholera outbreaks, especially in areas with limited access to clean water and sanitation.
  • South Asia: Countries like Bangladesh and India have historically been prone to cholera, partly due to the dense population and challenges in sanitation.
  • Southeast Asia: Countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Myanmar sometimes report cholera cases, particularly in areas with less developed water and sanitation infrastructure.
  • Haiti and Other Caribbean Nations: The island of Hispaniola has seen significant cholera outbreaks, particularly following natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes that disrupt water and sanitation systems.
  • Middle East: Countries like Yemen have experienced significant cholera outbreaks, often exacerbated by conflict and humanitarian crises.
  • Central and South America: Regions in these continents may experience sporadic outbreaks, although the incidence is generally lower compared to Africa and Asia.

  • Sign and Symptoms

    Cholera can cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. The majority of people infected may not show any symptoms or may have only mild symptoms. However, in more severe cases, the symptoms can be rapid and life-threatening due to the rapid loss of fluids and electrolytes through profuse diarrhoea and vomiting. Common signs and symptoms of cholera include:

  • Watery Diarrhoea: The most distinctive symptom of cholera is profuse, watery diarrhoea, often described as "rice water stools". The stool appears greyish-white, cloudy, and has a characteristic fishy odour. It can occur suddenly and rapidly lead to severe dehydration.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: These symptoms occur, particularly in the early stages of the infection..
  • Dehydration: Rapid loss of body fluids from diarrhoea can result in dehydration, characterized by symptoms such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, reduced urine output, sunken eyes, and lethargy. Severe dehydration can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
  • Muscle Cramps: Due to the rapid loss of electrolytes muscle cramps, particularly in the legs, can occur.
  • Rapid Heart Rate: Dehydration can cause an increase in heart rate as the body attempts to maintain blood pressure.
  • Low Blood Pressure: Particularly when standing up, which can lead to dizziness or fainting.
  • Hypovolemic Shock: In severe cases, the extreme loss of fluids can lead to a drop in blood volume (hypovolemia), leading to a form of shock that is life-threatening.

    Some individuals may have mild or no symptoms at all, but they can still shed the bacteria in their stool and can pass on the disease. If you suspect you or someone else has cholera, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention, as rapid rehydration and appropriate treatment can save lives. Cholera is quick to progress, so fast intervention is important.