What is the current situation?
The Ministry of Health of Chad has reported a cholera outbreak in Koukou and Goz Beida Districts in Sila Region and Am Timan District in Salamat Region in the southeast of the country.
What is cholera?
Cholera is a disease spread by drinking water or eating food contaminated with cholera bacteria. Severe cholera is characterized by large amounts of watery diarrhea, often described as “rice-water stool” because it can have a pale, milky appearance. It can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. If untreated, the loss of fluid can be deadly. But simple treatment, including replacing lost body fluids, can lower the risk of death to less than 1%.
What can travelers do to prevent cholera?
A newly licensed cholera vaccine (Vaxchora, PaxVax Corporation) prevents severe diarrhea caused by the most common type of cholera bacteria. This vaccine is available in the United States, and CDC recommends it for adults traveling to Koukou, Goz Beida, or Am Timan Districts. Avoiding unsafe food and water even after cholera vaccination will also help prevent cholera and many other diarrheal infections. Travelers should discuss the following questions with a healthcare provider when considering the vaccine:
- How common is cholera where I am going?
- How common is cholera in travelers to this area?
- What would put me at risk for cholera?
- Will I be able to receive rapid treatment (if needed) at my destination?
- Cholera in CDC Health Information for International Travel, the “Yellow Book”
- CDC’s cholera homepage
- Information for Public Health and Medical Professionals