What is Cholera?
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection. It is most often spread by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated.
What is my risk?
Most travellers are at very low risk, if you practice good personal hygiene and safe food and water precautions. It is transmitted by drinking water or eating food that is contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Travellers at higher risk are those visiting or working in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation, or to where outbreaks are occurring.
How is it transmitted?
The bacteria is found in the stool (feces) of an infected person. It can be spread to other people who consume food and water contaminated with the bacteria. The risk is greater in areas where sewage and drinking water are poorly treated. Food, particularly undercooked or raw shellfish and fish can be contaminated by water containing the bacteria or if it is handled by an infected person.
What are the symptoms?
Most people do not show any symptoms
Those who do have symptoms usually have mild to moderate diarrhea, with or without vomiting
In severe cases, symptoms include leg cramps, nausea, vomiting and frequent diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and even death if not treated promptly. Without treatment, severe infection has a mortality rate of 30-50%.
Source: © All Rights Reserved. Travel Health: Cholera. Public Health Agency of Canada, 2014. Reproduced with permission from the Minister of Health, 2014.