Cholera is an acute bacterial infection of the intestinal system.
It may vary in severity; however, even persons with severe cases
may respond dramatically to fluid- and electrolyte-replacement therapy.
Cholera is generally acquired by ingesting contaminated food or
water. Travelers to cholera-infected areas are advised to take appropriate
food and beverage precautions, including
the avoidance of uncooked food, especially fish and shellfish, and
peeling fruits themselves. Carbonated bottled water and carbonated
soft drinks are usually safe.
Few, if any, countries continue to require documentation of vaccination
against cholera. A single dose of vaccine is sufficient for entry.
The complete primary series (two doses given at least one week apart)
is suggested for special high-risk groups that work and live in
infected areas under inadequate sanitary conditions. Protection
against cholera is greatest during the two months following vaccination
and usually does not last beyond six months.
At this time, cholera vaccine is no longer available in the United