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Cholera in Canada (Vancouver)

26 Mar 2018

Local health authorities have reported (via media)  3 cases of cholera (1 confirmed, 2 suspected) on Vancounver Island. It is believed that this is linked to eating herring eggs gathered from seaweed on the shore.

Health authorities are warning the public not to eat herring eggs found on kelp, seaweed or other surfaces harvested from the French Creek to Qualicum Bay area.

Advice to Travellers

Prevention is focused on ensuring safe water and food, particularly in countries where cholera is more common or where outbreaks occur (see individual country record). Food and drink to be wary of include untreated water, ice, shellfish, salads, unwashed fruit and vegetables.

Good personal hygiene is essential. Individuals should ensure that they wash their hands frequently, prior to eating and after visiting the bathroom.

A vaccine is available to protect against cholera but as the risk to most travellers is very low, it is only recommended in the following circumstances:

  • Volunteers/aid workers/medical personnel in disaster relief situations where cholera outbreaks likely.
  • Those travelling to work in slums/refugee camps, areas affected by natural disasters, or countries experiencing cholera outbreaks and where care with food and water is difficult or not possible.

For further information see Cholera.