font size

Cholera (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What is the prognosis of cholera?

The prognosis (outcome) of cholera can range from excellent to poor, depending on the severity of the dehydration and how quickly the patient is given and responds to treatments. Death (mortality) rates in untreated cholera can be as high as 50%-60% during large outbreaks but can be reduced to about 1% if treatment protocols (see above treatment section) are rapidly put into action. In general, the less severe the symptoms and the less time people have dehydration symptoms, the better the prognosis; in many people, if dehydration is quickly reversed, the prognosis is often excellent.

Can cholera be prevented? Are cholera vaccines available?

Yes, cholera can be prevented by several methods. Developed countries have an almost zero incidence of cholera because they have widespread water-treatment plants, food-preparation facilities that usually practice sanitary protocols, and most people have access to toilets and hand-washing facilities. Although these countries may have occasional lapses or gaps in these methods, they have prevented many disease outbreaks, including cholera.

Individuals can prevent or reduce the chance they may get cholera by thorough hand washing, avoiding areas and people with cholera, drinking treated water or similar safe fluids and eating cleaned and well-cooked food. In addition, there are vaccines available that can help prevent cholera, although they are not available in the U.S., and their effectiveness ranges from 50%-90%, depending on the studies reported. The vaccines are oral preparations, because injected vaccines have not proved to be very effective. Two vaccines (Shanchol and mORC-VAX) are composed of killed V. cholerae bacteria and without the enterotoxin B subunit. Unfortunately, both offer protection for only about two years. Both vaccines are given in two doses, about one to six weeks apart. Unfortunately, the vaccines have limited availability; their recommended use is for people going to areas of known outbreaks with the likely possibility the person may be exposed to cholera. Some researchers suggest this limited oral vaccine availability should be changed and cite data that oral vaccine may help limit outbreaks, even after they have begun.

Research is ongoing; a research study in Haiti will try to determine if a two-dose vaccine in people will suffice to protect a difficult to treat (rural poor) population from cholera and thus save many lives. There are over 30 universities researching this disease (cholera's epidemiology, pathology, immunology, vaccine production, and other problems) currently worldwide.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/7/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Cholera - Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms experienced with cholera in you or someone you know?
Cholera - Treatments Question: What treatment has been effective for your cholera?
Cholera - Diagnosis Question: What types of tests or exams led to a diagnosis of cholera in you or someone you know?
Cholera - Prevention in Community Question: If you live in a community that experiences cholera outbreaks, how do you prevent an infection?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/cholera/article.htm

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Cholera Related Articles
advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD