STILL coping with the effects of last week's earthquake, India is facing a fresh hazard: a virulent new strain of cholera has been detected on the sub-continent. As with the strain causing the current cholera epidemic in South America, there is no effective vaccine.

Dr Eric LeFevre of Thomas Cook's medical centre (071-408 4157) in London says that the risk of catching any strain of cholera is very small: 'But you need to be vigilant. Water is the main danger - drink only bottled, boiled or purified water, and avoid raw food. The appearance of this new strain shows how important it is to seek up-to-the-minute advice on travel health.'