What Is Cholera?
Cholera is an infectious disease that affects mostly the intestines, but causes complications to the rest of the body. Once a person suffers from cholera, the first parts of the body to be affected are the intestines. It is an infection caused by a bacteria known as the Vibrio cholerae bacteria. This bacteria invades the human body and starts multiplying.
The Vibrio cholerae bacteria has the ability to survive in different environments. As a result of this, the infection is very easily spread. This also makes cholera a highly contagious and dangerous infection. This means that the infection can be transmitted from one person to another through a number of mediums.
Cholera has been for long been a dangerous infection, causing several deaths all over the world every year. Over a long period of time, different agencies and organizations have been looking for the best treatment for the infection.
Causes of Cholera
Cholera’s main cause is known to be the Vibrio bacteria. However, there are different ways through which this bacteria gets into the human body. These ways are considered the causes of cholera. They may include the following:
- Drinking contaminated water: This is one of the most common causes of cholera. This water may be mostly contaminated though the feces of an infected person.
- Coming into contact with feces of an infected person: Most of the Vibrio bacteria are accumulated in the infected person’s feces. As a result of coming into contact with the feces, one can easily get the infection.
- Contaminated food: Intake of contaminated food may arise from buying vendor foods or poor management and storage of foods.
- Poorly prepared food: Especially fish. The Vibrio cholerae is known to live within some sea creatures. Consuming these creatures without cooking them thoroughly can transmit the bacteria into your body.
Symptoms of Cholera
Cholera has two major symptoms that lead to other several complications in the body. These two include watery vomiting and diarrhea. Once you have the infection, the first complications to experience are vomiting and diarrhea. With time, these symptoms continue becoming worse. Due to this, there are a number of complications accompanied. They include:
- Dehydration. It is caused by severe diarrhea or vomiting.
- Continuous thirst. It is a common symptom for a person suffering from Cholera. This is contributed by lack of water in the body.
- Stomach and muscle cramps.
- Low blood pressure
- High rate of heart beat
- The skin becomes difficult to return to its original position after being stretched.
Is There A Vaccine For Cholera?
Yes. Cholera is an infection that has a vaccine. A vaccine is a drug made to protect people from getting a certain type of infection. Due to the life-threatening effects of cholera, a vaccine is necessary to keep people safe especially in areas where there are high chances of getting cholera. Cholera is also a contagious infection. It is difficult to know who has the infection around you area. This makes the vaccine more important.
The vaccine for cholera has been approved by the World Health Organization. It is a drug that has been tested and approved to be effective in preventing human being from suffering the infection. This drug also varies with the age. There is dosage recommended for children and adults. It is also varied for only a specified period of time. After this duration expires one is at the risk of getting infected.
Who Should Take The Vaccine?
It is a question that many people may be asking. Anyone can take the vaccination. However, there are groups of people that are more recommended to be vaccinated. They may include:
Cholera is an infection that is found in different countries. As a result of this, many people traveling between countries or states can be at a higher risk of getting the infection. Especially if you are traveling to a new country whose climate you are not adjusted to. This is recommended for people traveling to areas facing the cholera epidemic.
There are a number of countries, regions or continents where a person is requested to be vaccinated before entering the country. Such areas may include countres in Asia, Africa, South America and Middle East. It is also recommended that you get the vaccination at least 2 weeks before traveling.
Doctors and Nurses
This is specifically for doctors and nurses dealing with people suffering from cholera. Irrespective that most of the health workers are always in protective clothes, it is important to take the vaccine for any accidental case.
Workers in Epidemic Areas
In some cases, an epidemic for cholera is reported in the area. Many people may volunteer to offer assistance in these areas. There is always high exposure to the infection for people working in such areas. Vaccination is necessary to prevent them from the infection.
Residents Of A Cholera Epidemic Area
In case of an outbreak of cholera in an area, there is increased chances of people living around the area contracting the infection. Since the infection is contagious, it is recommended that one gets vaccinated to avoid the infection.
Administration and Dosage for Cholera Vaccine
In most cases, the vaccine is oral. People are required to avoid food for 1 hour before one takes the vaccination. You are also requested to avoid food for another 1 hour as well after the vaccination.
The cholera vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. There is no comprehensive information about why. However, it may interfere with the health of the fetus.
Children Between 2 and 6 Years Old
For this age, three doses are administered for periods between 1 week and 6 weeks. However, in cases where 6 weeks passes without the next dose, the whole process should restart.
People Aged 6 and Above
Here there are 2 doses administered within a period of 1 week to 6 weeks. However, if the 2nd dose is not given within 6 weeks, then the whole process needs to restart.
Cholera Vaccine with Other Vaccines
The cholera vaccine can be administered simultaneously with other vaccines without any adverse effects. However, this is the inactivated oral vaccine. It should also be taken within an interval of up to 8 hours.
Here are some of the precautions should be taken in handling cholera vaccines.
- The vaccine should be stored in environments of between +20C and +80C. It should also be kept safe from light. It should not freeze.
- Transportation of the vaccine should be done carefully. It should be transported in a highly protective instrument.
- One should postpone the administration of the vaccine in case you have acute gastrointestinal or acute febrile illness accompanied by severe vomiting and diarrhea.
- People should note that the vaccine is only varied for a certain period of time.
The Bottom Line
Vaccination for cholera is important to prevent the infection. However, this vaccine comes with some few side effects. They may include:
- Mild stomach problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
It is recommended to seek a doctor’s attention in case these side effects persist. Since cholera is a dangerous and contagious infection, one should also undertake prevention measures to reduce the cases of cholera infection.
If you discover any symptoms of cholera, even after being immunized, you should visit a doctor immediately. Also ensure that you get the right and approved vaccine for efficiency.