The cholera bacterium typically contaminates water or food via feces from an infected person. Inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and hygiene increase the likelihood of cholera occurrence and transmission.
All visitors or residents in areas where cholera is occurring or has occurred should follow recommendations to prevent getting sick:
Drink only bottled, boiled, or chemically treated water and bottled or canned beverages. When using bottled drinks, make sure the seal has not been broken. Carbonated water may be safer than non-carbonated water.
Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes.
To disinfect your own water, choose one of the following options:
Boil it for 1 minute, or
Filter it and add either ½ an iodine tablet or 2 drops of household bleach per liter/quart of water, or
Use commercial water chlorination tablets according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Wash your hands often with soap and clean water, especially before you eat or prepare food and after using the bathroom.
If no water and soap are available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Use bottled, boiled, or chemically treated water to wash dishes, brush teeth, wash and prepare food, and make ice.
Eat foods that are packaged or that are freshly cooked and served hot.
Do not eat raw or undercooked meats and seafood, or raw or undercooked fruits and vegetables unless they are peeled.
Dispose of feces in a sanitary manner to prevent contamination of water and food sources.
No, not in the United States. Vaxchora, a single-dose live oral cholera vaccine (lyophilized CVD 103-HgR), has received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for individuals aged 2-64 who are traveling to an area with active cholera transmission. However, it may be available at your travel destination.