Washington: A cheap and easy to deliver oral vaccine against cholera is 86 per cent effective in preventing the infection which causes severe diarrhea and can be fatal, researchers said today.
Some 1.4 billion people around the globe were at risk for cholera in 2012, according to World Health Organisation (WHO).
A woman takes a dose of oral cholera vaccine at the United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Tongping base in the South Sudan capital, Juba. Picture for representational purposes. AFP PHOTO
Cholera is caused by a bacterium, Vibrio cholerae, which can spread through the water supply in places where sanitation and hygiene are poor.
The study in the May 29 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine was the first to measure the effectiveness of a vaccine called Shanchol in response to a cholera outbreak under field conditions in Guinea.
Previously, the vaccine had been tested only under experimental conditions in Kolkata, India.
The research in Guinea, carried out by Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres), involved more than 300,000 doses of the two-dose vaccine, administered during a cholera outbreak in 2012.
It was 82 to 86 per cent effective, and carried few side effects.