What is Cholera and ETEC?
Cholera is a highly contagious bacterial infection caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium, which can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. It is mainly spread through ingestion of contaminated water or food (typically seafood).
Enterotoxigenic E.coli (ETEC) is a type of bacteria that also causes diarrhea but does not have the same severity like cholera. It can be contracted in areas where sanitation and hygiene are poor or could occur from consuming contaminated or improperly cooked food.
How to Cholera / ETEC?
Cholera and ETEC can be prevented by practicing good hygiene habits such as washing hands with soap and clean water, especially before handling food and after using the bathroom. Safe drinking water is essential in prevention of these illnesses; it is recommended that tap water be boiled or treated prior to consumption.
Additional food safety measures include avoiding: raw or undercooked seafood, unpeeled fruits or vegetables that have been washed in contaminated water, and unpasteurized dairy products.
Is Cholera / ETEC Vaccine Necessary?
Travelers should consult a healthcare professional for advice on vaccinations and preventative medication when planning trips to areas at risk for cholera/ETEC exposure. Dukoral, which is monovalent, provides protection against cholera, and some protection against traveler’s diarrhea. The WHO recommends vaccination for those traveling to regions where these diseases are prevalent.
To find out if your destination(s) require Dukoral – cholera/ETEC vaccine, consult a Rockdoc Travel Medicine Professional here.
We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the provided information, however, it is not feasible for us to update daily. Please book a virtual consultation with one of our Travel Medicine Professionals for current, personalized advice and answers to any questions you may have.
Are Cholera / ETEC Serious Diseases?
Symptoms of cholera can begin as quickly as a few hours after infection and may include:
- Severe watery diarrhea
- Muscle cramps
In severe cases, cholera can lead to:
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Low blood pressure
- Death if untreated
Symptoms of ETEC can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Watery diarrhea that might contain mucus
- Little or no fever present in some cases
Both diseases require prompt treatment to avoid complications such as dehydration and advised to seek medical attention immediately should any symptoms arise. Tell your healthcare provider your symptoms and which country / countries you visited.
Available travel vaccinations and medications
We offer the following travel vaccinations and medications:
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