Written by Aparna Hari
Cholera is an infectious disease which is caused by the bacteria known as Vibrio Cholerae. Usually, cholera spreads from contaminated water and it can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. While this disease took a number of lives in the past, today medications are available. But if proper treatment is not provided on time, the disease can prove fatal. Cholera vaccine for toddlers has proven to be extremely efficient in eradicating this disease in most countries around the world.
Governments are also taking some measures in building modern sewage systems and ensuring proper hygiene at all levels, especially building water treatment plants. Still, in some countries, the risk prevails due to overpopulation and most of them staying below the poverty line. Hence, administering cholera vaccine becomes all the more important to ensure that millions of toddlers are saved every year from this deadly disease.
In This Article
Yes, toddlers can get cholera. Cholera is a bacterial infection which means that your toddler can get cholera if they consume foods or water which are contaminated with bacteria. The bacteria of cholera are mostly found in contaminated or unclean water. This is because of the unsanitary disposal of stools. The most common countries where cholera is mostly found are the Caribbean, South Asia, and Africa. A toddler can get dehydrated as cholera might cause severe diarrhea.
To prevent cholera in toddlers, it is vital to make a habit of washing your and your toddlers’ hands frequently and maintaining proper hygiene. Furthermore, giving boiled water to your toddler would also help prevent cholera. When going to a new country with your toddler, ensure that you give safe food and drinking water to prevent them from contracting this deadly disease. In addition, a cholera vaccine for toddlers reduces the chances of contracting this disease to a large extent.
A cholera vaccine is a specialized vaccine to prevent the occurrence of cholera disease in toddlers. As you now know that cholera is an infectious disease, and it can even get life-threatening if not treated timely and with the correct vaccine.
The cholera vaccine works by exposing your toddler to a small dose of live cholera bacteria. As this bacterium enters your body, the immune system starts working to develop resistance against the disease. Once this resistance develops, your body develops immunity to the disease, preventing the occurrence of cholera in toddlers.
As we explained earlier, the cholera vaccine develops resistance against the toddler being affected by this deadly disease. It is vital to remember that the vaccine may provide protection only for a couple of years. If you stay in a country where the disease is widely prevalent, you may need to talk to your doctor and get the vaccine regularly as your toddler grows.
Also you must follow standard hygiene practices such as washing hands frequently, keeping your surroundings clean, drinking only boiled and cooled water, washing all raw foods well before cooking and consuming and washing all utensils and cookware properly.
Babies who have celebrated their first birthday can get their first dose of the cholera vaccine. You can talk to your doctor when you take your baby for their 12 month doctor checkup. But not all doctors may suggest this vaccine. In fact, it is not a part of vaccine mandates in most countries. However, if you are in the middle of a cholera endemic or in a region where the occurrence rate is high, your doctor may suggest this vaccine for your toddler.
The cholera vaccine is given in two doses. The second dose is given around two weeks after the first dose. Parents must be mindful to ensure that the second dose is given on time. A single dose may provide only short-term protection from cholera, while two doses given with a gap of two weeks will provide protection for up to two years.
Yes, the cholera vaccine is absolutely safe. In fact, every vaccine approved by healthy organizations and governments go through multiple levels of testing and certifications before they can reach the public. The cholera vaccine is prescribed by doctors routinely and is in fact mandatory in some countries. It is quite safe for toddlers to get this vaccination.
Cholera vaccine prevents your baby from contracting cholera, a major food-borne and water-borne disease. WHO lists cholera as a preventable disease which means that you can avoid this disease if you take the vaccination and other necessary precautions. In some countries, cholera is still prevalent and toddlers there must get the vaccination to avoid falling sick. If you are travelling to a country where cholera is prevalent, do ensure that your toddler gets the vaccination for sure. Prevention is any time better than falling sick and then finding a cure for it.
Some toddlers witness some side effects after being jabbed with the cholera vaccine. Such side effects include
In extremely rare cases, some toddlers can experience side effects such as difficulty in breathing, hives, swollen lips, tongue, throat, and face. So, if any of these issues arise with your toddler, rush to a doctor immediately.
[Read : Side Effects of Vaccines in Babies]
As discussed, a bacteria called vibrio cholerae is responsible for causing cholera in toddlers. The deadly effects of this disease worsen and when it gets toxic, it gets inside the small intestines of the toddler.
Some causes of cholera in todddlers are:
The most common source of cholera is contaminated water. This is why the incidence of this disease is higher in poor countries that do not have proper sewage systems and the levels of hygiene are relatively low. Water contaminated with feces is one of the common causes for the spread of cholera.
Consuming raw and unpeeled fruits and vegetables that are not washed and cleaned well is among the common causes of cholera infection, especially in countries where cholera is prevalent or in areas that are seeing a cholera outbreak.
Most of the toddlers who are suffering from cholera complain of having mild to moderate upset stomachs and hence this can even go worse. In some cases, vomiting and watery diarrhea are also caused which is known as rice water stools. These symptoms can also cause dehydration. Some other symptoms of cholera in a toddler include:
If these symptoms are not treated in a timely manner, they will get worse, and can even become life-threatening for toddlers. It is vital to remember that toddlers have a highly immature immune system and the fatalities are high. This is why there is so much importance attached to cholera vaccines.
[Read : Dehydration in Babies]
A combination of antibiotics along with oral rehydration are vital for the treatment of cholera in toddlers. If you suspect that your toddler has cholera or is showing the symptoms, you must rush them to the doctor immediately. Earlier the medical intervention, higher are the chances of quick recovery and normalcy.
Cholera should be prevented before it gets worse. Some of the prevention measures are mentioned below:
It is essential to make your toddler wash hands after the toilet and before handling food. This will restrict the entry of germs inside their body and would lower the possibility of cholera in toddlers.
Avoid eating food from street vendors due to hygiene issues. Even if you are eating, make sure that it’s completely cooked and not raw.
Most contaminating bacteria get killed with boiling water. And since water is a carrier of most bacterial infections, ensuring that you drink boiled water will save you and your family from contracting most diseases and infections.
Again, hygiene is the key to avoiding all sorts of infections. Following hygiene and safety practices will help keep diseases such as cholera at bay.
Cholera is a life-threatening disease, especially in toddlers. Cholera vaccine for toddlers helps provide protection from this disease. If you observe your toddler displaying any suspected symptoms, you must immediately seek medical attention. By keeping your surroundings, consuming safe water and employing cleanliness habits while cooking and eating, you can keep yourself safe from this disease. Also, avoid eating and drinking out when your area is going through a cholera outbreak.
The cholera vaccine can be given to all babies over the age of one year.
The cholera vaccine can protect for up to 2 years.
Avoid making your toddler eat or drink milk for at least one hour before giving a cholera vaccination. ‘
There is as such no mandate to get cholera vaccination.
Read Also: Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine For Babies
Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.
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