Oral Cholera Vaccine (Shancol) That Is Two Doses and Low Cost Protects Against Endemic Disease in Highly Populated Urban Setting, Lancet Study Shows; Trial in Bangladesh Funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In an announcement published on July 9, 2015, the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research in Dhaka, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) reported that The Lancet had published an article online on July 8, 2015, by ICDDR,B scientists, demonstrating that a double-dose, low-cost oral cholera vaccine can substantially reduce hospitalizations and deaths from cholera in densely populated urban settings. The article is titled “Feasibility and Effectiveness of Oral Cholera Vaccine in an Urban Endemic Setting in Bangladesh: A Cluster Randomized Open-Label Trial.” This Lancet article is accompanied by a commentary that is titled “Oral Cholera Vaccines in Endemic Countries.” Links to these articles in The Lancet are provided below, as are links to many of the popular press stories on this major advance. While oral cholera vaccines have previously been shown to be effective in trial settings, this is the first study to prove their effectiveness and feasibility in a real-life situation. The findings lend support to the vaccine’s use in routine mass vaccination programs to help to control cholera in endemic countries. Cholera exacts a tremendous toll on public health globally – 91,000 deaths and 2.8 million cases of cholera are reported every year and over 1 billion people are estimated to be at risk. Approximately half the deaths occur in children under 5 years of age. The burden of cholera is greatest in the developing countries of Africa and South Asia where a large number of people live in unsanitary conditions without access to clean water, factors which are critical to the spread of cholera. While environmental factors can take a long time to improve, an oral cholera vaccine can provide a much-needed alternative in these settings. The study by Dr.
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