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What is cholera and how do you catch it?
Cholera is a bacterial infection usually contracted through drinking contaminated water, or less commonly via food consumption. Every year there are millions of cases of cholera, mainly in countries without access to clean drinking water and with inadequate sanitation facilities, including:
• Sub-Saharan Africa
• South and Southeast Asia
• The Middle East
• Central America and the Caribbean
The Cholera Vaccination is available of you are at risk.
Price: £45 per dose
Signs and symptoms
Those who have picked up the cholera bacteria don’t always have symptoms, but these are some of the typical symptoms you should expect:
• Severe, watery diarrhoea
• Stomach cramps
Cholera symptoms can occur after just after a few hours but generally, develop within a few days of picking up the infection. If untreated, dehydration from severe diarrhoea and vomiting can quickly take effect, causing the body to go into shock because of a big drop in blood pressure.
If you are travelling to a country known to be affected by cholera, here are a few ways you can help protect yourself:
• Only drink boiled or sealed bottled water
• Avoid ice in your drinks and ice creams
• Wash (in safe water) or peel uncooked fruit and vegetables
• Avoid shellfish, seafood and salads
Practise good personal hygiene measures – always wash your hands in safe water before eating and visiting the bathroom
The risk to most travellers is very low and vaccination is usually only recommended in the following circumstances:
• Volunteers/aid workers/medical personnel in disaster relief situations where cholera outbreaks are likely
• Those travelling to work in slums/refugee camps or areas affected by natural disasters
• Those travelling to countries experiencing cholera outbreaks and where care with food and water is difficult or not possible
The drinkable cholera vaccine is given in two or three (depending on age) separate doses, taken from one to up to six weeks apart and completed at least a week before travelling.
How long does the cholera vaccination last?
Cholera vaccines are vaccines that are effective in preventing cholera. For the first six months after vaccination, they provide about 85 percent protection. Two doses of the vaccine will help protect against cholera for two years. The level of protection gradually reduces over time, so you’ll need a booster if you continue to travel to areas where there is a risk.
We took our 2 year old son in to see Dr O’Neill for a meningitis B vaccination recently. Due to shortages of the vaccine, we had been on a waiting list with a well-known high street pharmacist for months without knowing when they would get stock in. We came across Glasgow Medical Rooms who had the vaccination and we managed to get our son booked in the next day. The clinic was very smart and easy to access in the city centre too. Dr O’Neill was great at dealing with our toddler. It was a relief to get the jabs sorted so quickly and would highly recommend the service to others.”Mrs CrawfordInverclyde
“I have had persistent neck and shoulder discomfort for some time. Regular visits to my local GP did not help. I was recommended to see Dr Sheila O’Neil who gave me a check-up and recommended that I see her physiotherapist colleague, Vicky Graham. I have had three sessions of physiotherapy and have regained full mobility in my neck and shoulders and feel a great deal better. I am very grateful to Dr Sheila and expect, with my husband, to sign up with her as regular patients.”Mrs Johnston
I would like to thank Dr O’Neill very much for her time today: I get the impression that she is a very caring professional, knowledgeable and reassuring, and that she makes explaining conditions crystal clear, which is exactly what is needed for an anxious patient like myself. The staff that I met were all extremely welcoming, well-groomed and helpful too. Add to this the very relaxing and beautifully scented ambience and it was really a truly positive and pleasant visit. Thank you.Linnea Blair
“Dr. Sheila O’Neill and her team quite literally saved my life. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Diagnosis of a serious condition that had been misdiagnosed by three hospitals took less than 2 weeks, including an MRI. Setting aside the professionalism, they are also just extremely nice people. Imagine a GP that truly cares and will be calling the patient after hours to see how they are getting on – that is what I got from Dr. Sheila O’Neill. There are no superlatives that adequately describe the service. Great. Fantastic. Superb.”GMK Group