Cholera, What You Should Be Doing To Help

Cholera is a bacterial infection of the intestines, caused by the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae and it can result in death. Protect yourself and others by

  1. Knowing the signs and symptoms

When someone is infected, symptoms can appear a few hours later or can be as late as 5 days. Common symptoms of cholera include:

  • Watery and profuse amounts of diarrhea
  • nausea and vomiting
  • cramps, especially in the abdomen and legs

Very soon, signs and symptoms of severe dehydration will appear:

  • lack of energy
  • glassy or sunken eyes
  • dry mouth and extreme thirst
  • dry, shriveled skin
  • low urine output
  • a lack of tears
  • irregular heartbeat
  • low blood pressure

 

  1. Avoiding the possible sources

As the disease is usually spread through fecal contamination avoid

  • public sources of drinking water
  • drinking water that has not been treated with chlorine
  • food from street vendors
  • eating raw vegetables
  • eating fruit that cannot be peeled
  • public toilets with broken plumbing
  • eating food at informal eating places
  • eating food at large gatherings ( e.g. funerals )
  • ice cubes
  • ice cream
  1. Preventing the spread

Keeping your environment clean and keeping the waste contained and out of potential water sources is of the utmost importance.

  • Sterilize or dispose of everything that is suspected of contamination or that was in contact with a person with cholera
  • Wash your hands well with soap and clean water, after you use the bathroom
  • Wash your hands well with soap and clean water before you prepare food
  • Boil or disinfect any water that you’ll use to prepare food
  • Drink sterilized bottled water
  • Carry a liquid sanitizer on your person to use where there is no water or soap.
  • If you develop symptoms of cholera go to the nearest health facility immediately

Even if you’re sure it’s not cholera, dehydration is a severe medical condition regardless of the cause, and it needs to be treated quickly.

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