Cholera spreads through of contamination of water and food and is closely associated with poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water. The global disease burden is around 3million–5 million cases and 100 000–130 000 deaths per year. In recent times, the frequency of cholera epidemics has increased. The disease is caused by Vibrio cholera, a rod-shaped waterborne bacterium. The toxins released by the bacterium causes loss of intravascular and extravascular fluids and essential electrolytes in the small intestines.
Cholera is generally characterized as an acute, profusely watery diarrhea of one or a few days’ duration. In extreme conditions, patients may suffer severe dehydration within 3–4 hours. Rehydration is the mainstay of treatment of cholera, or antibiotics are indicated for severe cases.
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According to reports published by the WHO, cholera control should be the main priority in areas at rise of a cholrea endemic. Currently, only two types of oral cholera vaccines are available. These oral vaccines should be used in conjunction with other preventive measures in areas where the disease is endemic. Vaccination provides an immediate short-term response. However, in order to completely overcome the disease, other interventions such as availability of clean water and proper sanitation should be put into place.
To control endemic cholera, vaccination should be targeted at individuals with higher risk. The best way to counter cholera can be periodic mass vaccination campaigns. For example, vaccanications of pre-school and school aged children, HIV-infected individuals, and pregnant women. Older individuals may also be taken into consideration for cholera vaccination. Currently, protection offered by cholera vaccines is two years. Therefore, initial vaccination of two doses should be followed by a booster dose after every two years.
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Presently, the WHO and its partners are considering newer ways to complement traditional methods of dealing with cholera. Oral cholera vaccines have proven to be effective against the disease. The evidence provided by the use of cholera vaccines has paved the way for investigation of mass vaccination for protection against cholera. Currently, three types of WHO-approved oral cholera vaccines are available: Crucell, Dukoral, and ShanChol. Out of these three vaccines, one is monovalent and the other two are bivalent vaccines. Several other oral cholera vaccines are under development. However, the current demand for cholera vaccines is uncertain as it depends on the immunization strategy, which may vary total demand requirement.
The WHO strongly recommends monitoring for confirmed cases of cholera disease must be integrated in existing surveillance programs so that the impact of the disease and vaccination could be observed.
The global cholera vaccines market can be segmented based on type, distribution channel, and geography. Based on type, the cholera vaccines market can be divided into monovalent and bivalent vaccines. In terms of distribution channel, the cholera vaccines market can be categorized into hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and online pharmacies.