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
- Stomach & muscle cramps
- 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