3.7 Antibiotic prophylaxis

3.7.1 Mass chemoprophylaxis

Treatment of an entire population with antibiotics is currently not recommended by the WHO6: at the level of an entire population, exposure to Vibrio cholerae will occur unpredictably over time rather than entirely within the window of the few days in which the antibiotic would be protective.

3.7.2 Selective chemoprophylaxis

Targeted antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended for closed institutional settings, such as prisons or orphanages, where, given the nature of the facilities, significant exposure is likely to occur over a short period of time.

Chemoprophylaxis should be given simultaneously to all individuals as soon as possible after the first case is recognized. The prophylactic dose of antibiotic is the same as the therapeutic dose (Section 5.3.1 and Appendix 7).

Selective chemoprophylaxis can be considered as an additional mean to control cholera for these settings, but does not replace the other control measures described in this chapter.