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Cholera in Indonesia

Cholera is a diarrheal disease. People get sick when they consume food or water that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person. The most common symptom is severe diarrhea. It is painless and watery (often called "rice-water" stools). Vomiting is also common.

Most cholera infections are relatively mild. People recover on their own by keeping well-hydrated. About 10-20 percent of all infected people will suffer severe illness, which can cause life-threatening dehydration. These cases are treated with oral and/or intravenous fluid replacement and antibiotics.

Most travelers have a low risk of cholera, as following food and water precautions is usually sufficient to prevent the disease.

Healthcare and relief workers who travel to areas of cholera outbreaks and have limited access to safe water are at higher risk. They should consider vaccination against cholera.

Additional info on Cholera from the US Center for Disease Control

If you have medical-related questions about living in Indonesia to ask of medical professionals, see Ask the Experts.

We trust this information will assist you in making correct choices regarding your health and welfare. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for personalized advice from your medical adviser.

Our appreciation to the Coordinating Doctors of International SOS, an AEA Company who have contributed this article in response to a health threat faced by expatriates in Indonesia.