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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recommendation for the use of a cholera vaccine in adults traveling to areas with cholera is now final. The final recommendation was published today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The vaccine, brand name Vaxchora, is a single-dose, live oral cholera vaccine and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016 for prevention of cholera caused by serogroup O1. It is approved for use in adults 18 through 64 years old and is the only FDA-approved cholera vaccine in the United States. The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, composed of medical and public health experts, voted to recommend the vaccine in June 2016.
Most travelers from the United States do not visit areas with active cholera transmission and are rarely at risk. An area of active cholera transmission is defined as an area within a country where cholera is regularly found or where a cholera epidemic is ongoing. This includes areas with cholera activity within the past year prone to a cholera epidemic. This recommendation does not include areas where cases rarely have been reported.
Although cholera is rare, it can kill people quickly if it is not treated. All travelers going to areas with cholera should use and drink safe water, cook food thoroughly, and wash hands properly to prevent cholera infection. Travelers who develop severe diarrhea should seek medical attention, particularly therapy to restore lost fluids, as soon as possible.
More information on the recommendations and the evidence used to support them can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6618a6.htm?s_cid=mm6618a6_w
Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the bacteria Vibrio cholerae. Additional information about cholera and cholera vaccine is available at http://www.cdc.gov/cholera/index.html.
Information about destinations with active cholera transmission is available at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/cholera.