Cholera in Africa and Western Asia (Yemen)

Updated: May 10, 2018


Original publication date: September 1, 2016

What is Cholera?

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection that is caused by ingesting food or water that has been contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.  Cholera causes watery diarrhea and can quickly lead to severe dehydration.  In severe cases it can lead to death if left untreated.

Cholera is endemic in many countries around the world.  Every year there are between 1.3 to 4 million cases of cholera, with between 20 000 to 140 000 deaths.  Travellers to tourist areas that practise safe food and water precautions and good hand hygiene are at low risk.

Why should you be concerned?

The World Health Organization has confirmed outbreaks of cholera in the following countries:

How can you protect yourself from Cholera?

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Find out if there is a risk of cholera in the country you are visiting.

Eat and drink safely.

Practice good hand hygiene:

Consider getting vaccinated.

If you develop severe diarrhea and/or vomiting while travelling or after you return to Canada:

Registration of Canadians Abroad

Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home

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