Latest Updates

  • Oral Cholera Vaccine Recommendations through the Years

    Anna Lena Lopez, MD

    Research Associate Professor | Inst. of Child Health & Human Development, Univ. of the Philippines Manila-National Inst. of Health
    Three-year-old Salomon looks on as he undergoes treatment for cholera at the general hospital in Minova. Photo: Arjun Claire
    Three-year-old Salomon looks on as he undergoes treatment for cholera at the general hospital in Minova. Photo: Arjun Claire

    On April 25-27, 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on vaccines and immunization took up oral cholera vaccination during its meeting, with a view of updating the 2010 WHO position paper [1]. WHO regularly releases position papers to guide member states on vaccines and immunization that have global public health importance.

  • Yemen’s Cholera Crisis: Fighting Disease During Armed Conflict

    Doctors treat patients with cholera in Yemen, Photo Courtesy of Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action
    Doctors treat patients with cholera in Yemen, Photo Courtesy of Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action

    This podcast was produced by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action and originally appeared here."

    Yemen is currently facing the world's worst cholera epidemic. As of August, the WHO reported that over 500,000 suspected cholera cases and nearly 2,000 associated deaths had occurred since the end of April alone.  One of many factors that has caused such a large-scale outbreak is the ongoing armed conflict. How do you fight disease during an armed conflict?

  • A Q&A with Dr David Sack on the History of Oral Cholera Vaccine (Part 3 of 3)

    Dr. Sack Faculty Headshot, Photo: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Dr. Sack Faculty Headshot, Photo: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Previous research has shown the safety and immunogenicity of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) at elevated temperatures in vaccinated individuals. These findings suggest that hard to reach populations with endemic cholera have the ability to be vaccinated with limited cold chain capacity because larger doses of the vaccine can be transported without the constraints of being transported with heavy volumes of ice-packs. Listen to the audio below or read the transcripts to hear Dr. Sack share further insight into the vaccine cold chain and challenges of maintaining the vaccine at elevated temperatures.

  • A Q&A with Dr David Sack on the History of Oral Cholera Vaccine (Part 2 of 3)

    Dr. Sack Faculty Headshot, Photo: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Dr. Sack Faculty Headshot, Photo: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Cholera persists as an important public health problem in more than one-third of the world’s countries and is endemic in approximately 69 countries. A cholera outbreak can be extremely dangerous and can cause outbreaks affecting thousands within just a few days from the first case of infection. However, the global burden of cholera is not precisely known. The lack of accurate reporting is due to limited capacity for disease surveillance in cholera-affected countries, as well as social, political, and economic disincentives for reporting cholera. Listen to the audio or read the transcripts below to hear Dr. Sack expand on cholera hotspots and issues regarding cholera surveillance.

  • A Q&A with Dr David Sack on the History of Oral Cholera Vaccine (Part 1 of 3)

    Dr. Sack Faculty Headshot, Photo: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Dr. Sack Faculty Headshot, Photo: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

    Oral cholera vaccine (OCV) can decrease the severity of a cholera outbreak, reduce rates of disease in endemic settings, and prevent cholera during humanitarian crises and emergencies. Listen to the conversation or read the transcripts below to hear Dr. David Sack, M.D., the Director of the Delivering Oral Vaccine Effectively (DOVE) project and professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discuss the history of OCV and the potential for a single dose vaccine.

  • Expanding Access to the Oral Cholera Vaccine

    Members of the Malawi field team who visited pregnant women monthly to check on status of pregnancy and encourage them to go for pre-natal visits

    Members of the Malawi field team who visited pregnant women monthly to check on status of pregnancy and encourage them to go for pre-natal visits

    This post originally appeared on Johns Hopkins' The Globe.

    A new study by a team of Hopkins faculty and students led by Dr. Mohammad Ali, a senior scientist in International Health, found significant evidence that the oral killed whole-cell cholera vaccine is safe to administer during pregnancy.

    Cholera affects about 2.5 million people a year, and, if untreated, the disease can be fatal in a matter of hours. As a result, around 100,000 people—overwhelmingly the world’s most vulnerable—die every year because they have no access to care (1). Among pregnant women, cholera can increase the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth by up to 36 percent. Yet, pregnant women have largely been excluded from vaccination campaigns because little evidence has been available to confirm that it is safe for fetuses (2) —leaving both the women and their pregnancies less protected from the disease.