Cholera is a bacterial infection acquired by ingesting contaminated food or water. Symptoms of cholera can vary from mild diarrhea, to profuse diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to potentially life threatening dehydration. Cholera is rare in the U.S., but travelers to parts of the world with inadequate water and sewage treatment and poor sanitation are at risk for infection.
According to the World Health Organization, recent cholera outbreaks have been reported in several African countries (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Zambia), parts of central America (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti), Afghanistan, Iraq, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, Nepal, and Papua New Guinea.
The CDC recommends cholera-prevention measures for travelers to cholera-affected areas, including safe food and water practices and frequent hand washing. In June 2016, the FDA approved Vaxchora, the only FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of cholera. Vaxchora is used to prevent cholera caused by serogroup O1 (the predominant cause of cholera globally) in adults 18 through 64 years of age traveling to cholera-affected areas.
is a live, weakened vaccine that is taken as a single, oral liquid dose at least 10 days before travel to a cholera-affected area.