In 2016, lyophilized CVD 103-HgR (Vaxchora, PaxVax, Redwood City, California), a single-dose, live attenuated oral cholera vaccine, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of cholera caused by V. cholerae O1 in adults traveling to cholera-affected areas. Lyophilized CVD 103-HgR is the only cholera vaccine licensed for use in the United States.

Vibrio cholerae/CDC
Vibrio cholerae/CDC

In recommendations published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) today, CVD 103-HgR is recommended for adult travelers (aged 18–64 years) from the United States to an area of active cholera transmission.

“Cholera represents a rising global public health challenge,” said Jason Harris, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. “Its prevalence has increased since the start of the millennium and outbreaks continue to have devastating effects. In addition, the number of countries where cholera is endemic has increased and the disease is now endemic in over 60 countries.”

There are an estimated three million cholera cases per year around the world.

The CDC notes that most travelers from the United States do not visit areas with active cholera transmission and are rarely at risk. An area of active cholera transmission is defined as an area within a country where cholera is regularly found or where a cholera epidemic is ongoing. This includes areas with cholera activity within the past year prone to a cholera epidemic. This recommendation does not include areas where cases rarely have been reported.

Cholera, a disease caused by Vibrio cholerae bacteria, is acquired by ingesting contaminated water or food and causes a watery diarrhea that can range from mild to extremely severe. Often the infection is mild; however, severe cholera is characterized by profuse diarrhea and vomiting, leading to dehydration. It is potentially life threatening if treatment with antibiotics and fluid replacement is not initiated promptly. According to the World Health Organization, serogroup O1 is the predominant cause of cholera globally.

Read more at Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

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