The FDA approved the vaccine, Vaxchora, for the prevention of cholera. The vaccine may be used by adults from 18 to 64 years of age traveling to areas with known cholera outbreaks. Vaxchora is currently the only vaccination for cholera that has an FDA approval.
What is Cholera?
Cholera is a condition caused by ingesting water or food contaminated with the Vibrio cholerae bacteria. The symptoms happen rapidly and while most cholera cases are mild in an individual with a healthy immune system, the disease can be severe or even life-threatening when the resulting watery diarrhea and vomiting lead to dehydration. Prompt treatment with antibiotics and fluid replacement are implemented and the bout usually passes within a week.
Up until now, travelers have had to rely on preventative measures such as avoiding contaminated water, foods, and frequent hand washing.
When to Get Vaccinated
In order to be effective, the Vaxchora should be taken (it is an oral dose) at least 10 days before your arrival in a cholera-affected area. The Vaxchora is a live, weakened version of cholera and gives your body time to build up immunity to the stronger version you will likely encounter in Ghana and other affected areas.
Currently, a yellow fever vaccination is required for entry into Ghana. The CDC further recommends vaccinations for Malaria, Typhoid, and Hepatitis A. Dengue Fever is common in Ghana, but there is currently no vaccination for the illness.
If you need additional information about required paperwork for a Ghana visa, check out our page where you can get both tourist and business-class travel visas.