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Public Health Alert on Cholera Prevention

What is Cholera?

  • Cholera is a bacterial infection caused by consuming contaminated food or water or by touching infected living or non-living objects from which they can enter human guts
  • Cholera causes severe diarrhoea (passage of watery stool) and dehydration (loss of water and salts from the body). If cholera is left untreated, it can kill within hours.
  • Cholera affects both children and adults

How is Cholera Spread?

  • Cholera is spread when a person ingests food/water contaminated with the stool (faeces) of an infected person or from not washing your hands properly
  • Cholera is common in areas with poor sanitation
  • Cholera is NOT likely to spread directly from one person to another

What are the symptoms of cholera?

Symptoms of cholera may include:

  • Severe watery diarrhoea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Stomach & muscle cramps
  • Thirst
  • Restlessness or irritability

What to do to protect yourself and your family from getting infected with cholera/diarrhoeal diseases:

  • Drink and use safe water
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water. If no soap is available, scrub hands often with ash or sand and rinse with safe water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Hand washing with soap is effective in preventing diarrhoea diseases
  • Use latrines and do not defecate in the open or any body of water.
  • Cook food well, eat it hot, keep it covered, and wash or peel fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep the house and surroundings very clean – where the family bathes and washes clothes

Treatment for cholera

Cholera is an easily treatable disease. The following action should be taken when you experience the symptoms of cholera:

  • Reach for oral rehydration solution (ORS) and start taking it immediately
  • Report immediately to the nearest health facility
  • Continue to breastfeed your baby if they have diarrhoea even when travelling to get treatment