Cholera vaccination certificate?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jan 18, 2013 12:50 PM Last Post By: orion_mike
Jan 17, 2013 6:54 PM
Cholera vaccination certificate?Latest LP East Africa mentions about the possibility that cholera vaccination could be required when crossing the land border between Kenya and Ethiopia to/from Moyale. I didn't have any plans to take this vaccination but if there's a risk of this requirement I might have to. (Yellow fever vaccination I've had for two years now.)
I posted this here in the Kenya room, but to biggen the picture a bit: are there any countries in East and Sub-Saharan Africa that require a vaccination against cholera, causing problems for those without it?
Jan 17, 2013 8:12 PM
1I don't know that there are any countries anywhere in the world which require a cholera vaccine.
A couple of times in several decades of travel I've had a cholera vaccination demanded of me. This has nothing to do with whether it's effective, necessary, required by law, or anything else. This being the case, whenever I get any sort of needle I have it recorded on my yellow card, and I request that they add something about cholera, with whatever signature or stamp is available. Most clinics will write something like "Cholera: Not Medically Indicated" and sign a scrawl with a date attached. That's been all I've ever needed.
You didn't hear it from me, but since you've got a yellow card already you might even think about doing this yourself. Any sort of smudged, un-readable stamp with a signature and date inside would make it more intimidating, which is the effect you're after.
On the other hand, if I lived in the EU I'd think seriously about getting the vaccine--it's not available in the USA (last I checked), but it's apparently somewhat effective. What's to lose?
Hope that's helpful.
Jan 17, 2013 10:17 PM
2Cholera - whilst its not a great thing to get it, in general, is no longer the killer it once was. As cholera is able to mutate regularly (at bit like the common cold or the flu) most of the vaccinations are out of date when the new strain comes along. You can have an oral vaccination (two batches about 10 days apart) - it does give you a measure of protection and also increases your immunity to gastro bugs. So no there is no longer a specific requirement to have cholera showing on your international vaccination card.
BTW - Some health authorities will even stamp your card even if you have not be vaccinated just to keep the foreign public health people happy - not sure that this is a good practice though!
Jan 17, 2013 10:53 PM
Jan 18, 2013 7:04 AM
4No country in the world officially requires a certificate of cholera immunization. Once in a great while, when there is an outbreak, a country may start mandating immunization. the last I heard was Madagascar about 10 years ago.
Sometimes, a country will start asking for certs as a political issue. Quite soem time ago, Ethiopia and Eritrea were feuding and each country swore there was cholera on the other side and demanded a cert from citizens of the other country.
The other time you might be asked for a cert is a fund-raising endeavor on the part of a border official. This is most likely to occur in a remote land crossing rather than an airport or a major land-crossing. Some people have their card stamped "not indicated" for this reason.
There are two cholera vaccines. They are not fully effective and is usually only recommended for people at serious risk--working in refugee camps or in disaster relief, for instance. The vaccines are not available in some countries, including the US.
It can indeed be rapidly fatal if not treated promptly. If left untreated, 25-50% of typical cholera cases are fatal. The primary treatment is keeping hydrated, which may mean being in a hospital hooked up to an IV, but usually just involves oral rehydration salts. Most travelers have the wherewithal to get treatment, as opposed, say, to a very poor villager in a remote location. Travelers are also less likely to get it in the first place as they are less likely to rely on untreated water and more likely to take precautions about washing fruit and what not.
(P. S. this post was not done from memory. I looked up most of it to be sure.)
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Jan 18, 2013 8:55 AM
Jan 18, 2013 12:50 PM
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