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  • Haiti Launches Largest-Ever Cholera Vaccination Campaign

    This post originally appeared on NPR Goats and Soda and was authored by Jason Beaubien.

    Haiti on Tuesday launched the largest emergency cholera vaccination campaign ever attempted. The plan is to try to vaccinate 800,000 people in parts of the country devastated by Hurricane Matthew.

    Immediately after the Category 4 storm tore across southwest Haiti last month, the number of reported cholera cases across the country shot up dramatically. In some storm-ravaged areas it jumped tenfold.

    Nationwide, the number of new cases went from roughly 75 a day to well over 200.

    To try to slow this surge in cholera, the Haitian Ministry of Health and international aid groups plan to vaccinate almost everyone over the age of 1 in southwest Haiti. Cholera is a potentially fatal water-borne disease that can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration.

  • Cholera 101: Why An Ancient Disease Keeps On Haunting Us

    The figure at left is the personification of cholera, facing resistance from a group of women. This 19th century engraving is from Barcelona. PHAS/UIG via Getty Images
    The figure at left is the personification of cholera, facing resistance from a group of women. This 19th century engraving is from Barcelona.
    PHAS/UIG via Getty Images.

    This post originally appeared on NPR Goats and Soda and was authored by Jason Beaubien.

    Cholera can kill a person in a matter of hours.

    It's a severe gastro-intestinal disease, and it can trigger so much diarrhea and vomiting that patients can rapidly become dehydrated. They lose so much fluid that their internal organs shut down.

    The water-borne disease has been around for centuries, and it remains a global health risk. According to the World Health Organization there are roughly 3 million cases a year and 90,000 deaths. The worst epidemic is now in Haiti, linked to cholera brought by U.N. peacekeepers and surging anew in parts of the country hard hit last month by Hurricane Matthew. There's another outbreak flaring in South Sudan. In countries that have long been grappling with cholera, such as Bangladesh, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo, tens of thousands of people are sickened every year.

    "It's been in the Ganges delta from time immemorial," says Dr. David Sack, a professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

  • Shrinking the Cholera Map

    David A. Sack, MD

    Professor | Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    A health worker administering the oral cholera vaccine in Arcahaie, Haiti. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

    A health worker administering the oral cholera vaccine in Arcahaie, Haiti. UN Photo/Logan Abassi.

    This post originally appeared on Global Health NOW.

    I first witnessed the devastation that cholera can cause on my first trip to Bangladesh in 1974. I had arrived to work on a different cause of diarrhea, enterotoxigenic E.coli, but around me a major humanitarian crisis was in full force. Famine and flood had uprooted thousands; people were living on the streets and cholera ran rampant. At that time, I learned how the groundbreaking oral rehydration treatment, recently developed in India and Bangladesh, could save the lives of all cholera patients by preventing dehydration through fluid replacement.

    Yet in areas of the world where this lifesaving treatment is not available, thousands of people die. In fact, globally, more than 2 million people contract cholera each year and approximately 95,000 die from the disease, mainly in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti.

  • Is there a time and place for ring vaccination for oral cholera vaccine?

    Anne Ballard, MPH

    Program Officer | Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

    Is there a time and place for ring vaccination for oral cholera vaccine? A new research publication by lead author Mohammed Ali sheds light on this question.  

    Cholera poses a global threat with approximately 2.5 million cases each year, 100,000 of which result in death. Given that cholera is easily spread in highly populated communities where access to safe water and sanitation are lacking and where hygiene is often compromised, people are at a high risk of contracting cholera if they live near someone who is currently infected.

  • Cholera and OCV in the News

    September-2016: Potential for Controlling Cholera Using a Ring Vaccination Strategy: Re-analysis of Data from a Cluster-Randomized Clinical Trial

    Findings from an observational study published in PLOS Medicine suggest that high-level protection can be achieved if individuals living close to cholera cases are living in a high coverage ring. 

    Read the article (September 2016)

  • Implications And Future Research Regarding Oral Cholera Vaccine At Elevated Temperatures

    Francisco Luquero, MD, PhD

    Associate Scientist | Médecins Sans Frontières and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

    Anne Ballard, MPH

    Program Officer | Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
    A health worker makes a home visit to vaccinate children in Sucre, Bolivia. ACPalomino, Courtesy of Photoshare, 2005.

    A health worker makes a home visit to vaccinate children in Sucre, Bolivia. ACPalomino, Courtesy of Photoshare, 2005. 

     
    The recent study, The oral cholera vaccine Shanchol when stored at elevated temperatures maintains the safety and immunogenicity profile in Bangladeshi participants, published in Vaccine, is the first of its kind to show the safety and immunogenicity of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) at elevated temperatures in vaccinated individuals. The study, which reviewed antibody responses among 4 groups of adult participants who received the vaccine at varying temperatures ranging from the standard 2-8°C up to 42°C for 14 days, found the vaccine remained stable. These findings have several implications for vaccine campaigns moving forward and lay the foundation for future research regarding the use of OCV within a controlled temperature chain (CTC).