The Travel Health and Vaccine Specialists

Health Alert


Cholera in Chad

Updated November 14, 2017

What is the current situation?

The Ministry of Health of Chad has reported a cholera outbreak in Koukou and Goz Beida Districts in Sila Region and Am Timan District in Salamat Region in the southeast of the country.

What is cholera?

Cholera is a disease spread by drinking water or eating food contaminated with cholera bacteria. Severe cholera is characterized by large amounts of watery diarrhea, often described as “rice-water stool” because it can have a pale, milky appearance. It can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. If untreated, the loss of fluid can be deadly. But simple treatment, including replacing lost body fluids, can lower the risk of death to less than 1%.

What can travelers do to prevent cholera?

Because it is spread through contaminated food and water, cholera is easily prevented by sticking to safe eating and drinking habits and regularly washing hands.

A newly licensed cholera vaccine (Vaxchora, PaxVax Corporation) prevents severe diarrhea caused by the most common type of cholera bacteria. This vaccine is available in the United States, and CDC recommends it for adults traveling to Koukou, Goz Beida, or Am Timan Districts. Avoiding unsafe food and water even after cholera vaccination will also help prevent cholera and many other diarrheal infections. Travelers should discuss the following questions with a healthcare provider when considering the vaccine:

How common is cholera where I am going?
How common is cholera in travelers to this area?
What would put me at risk for cholera?
Will I be able to receive rapid treatment (if needed) at my destination?
Traveler Information

Food and Water Safety
CDC’s cholera homepage
6 Basic Tips to Prevent Cholera
Clinician Information

Cholera in CDC Health Information for International Travel, the “Yellow Book”
CDC’s cholera homepage
Information for Public Health and Medical Professionals
Page created: October 20, 2017
Page last updated: October 20, 2017
Page last reviewed: October 20, 2017
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ)