Federal health officials have approved the first cholera vaccine intended to protect U.S. travelers from the potentially life-threatening disease.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the liquid vaccine, called Vaxchora, for adults ages 18 to 64 who are traveling to countries affected by cholera.

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The bacterial infection is rare in the U.S. but still occurs in many parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and Haiti. Severe cholera can lead to profuse diarrhea and vomiting, causing dehydration. About one in 10 cases are considered severe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Regulators approved the vaccine based on four clinical trials enrolling nearly 3,800 patients. Common side effects included fatigue, headache, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

PaxVax Bermuda, of Hamilton, Bermuda, makes the vaccine.