Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Outbreak notice: Update: August 22, 2012
Most travelers are not at high risk of getting cholera. However, travelers to an area with a known outbreak should take steps to avoid getting sick. (See below.) The vaccine to prevent cholera is not available in the United States.
Travelers can prevent cholera by following these 5 basic steps:
Drink and use safe water.*
- Bottled water with unbroken seals and canned or bottled carbonated beverages are safe to drink and use.
- Use safe water to brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, and make ice.
- Clean food preparation areas and kitchenware with soap and safe water and let dry completely before reuse.
To be sure water is safe to drink and use:
- Boil it or treat it with water purification tablets, a chlorine product, or household bleach.
- Bring your water to a complete boil for at least 1 minute.
- To treat your water, use water purification tablets—brought with you from the United States or a locally available treatment product—and follow the instructions.
- If a chlorine treatment product is not available, you can treat your water with household bleach. Add 8 drops of household bleach for every 1 gallon of water (or 2 drops of household bleach for every 1 liter of water) and wait 30 minutes before drinking.
- Always store your treated water in a clean, covered container.
Wash your hands often with soap and safe water.*
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before feeding your children
- After using the bathroom
- After changing diapers
- After taking care of someone ill with diarrhea
* If no soap is available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Use toilets; do not defecate in any body of water.
- Use toilets, latrines, or other sanitation systems, such as chemical toilets, to dispose of feces.
- Wash hands with soap and safe water after using the bathroom.
- Clean toilets and surfaces contaminated with feces by using a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water.
Cook food well (especially seafood), keep it covered, eat it hot, and peel fruits and vegetables.*
- Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it.
- Be sure to cook shellfish (such as crabs and crayfish) until they are very hot all the way through.
- Do not bring perishable seafood back to the United States.
*Avoid raw foods other than fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself.
Clean up safely—in the kitchen and in places where the family bathes and washes clothes
- Wash yourself, your children, diapers, and clothes at least 30 meters away from drinking water sources.