Tuesday, 26 September 2017

What You Need to Know about Cholera

Eliminating cholera

Cholera is a killer disease that is caused by germs, which travel in contaminated water. Cholera is severe watery diarrhoea (runny stomach) which looks like rice water accompanied with vomiting & cramps in the legs. This is completely different from ordinary diarrhoea & the help of a medical personnel should be sought immediately. It is important to replace the body fluids as soon as possible, otherwise the body goes in a state of shock which could be fatal. 

Some people may actually carry the germ in their system or body without any diarrhoea, vomiting or cramps in their legs. They can still spread the germ.

Cholera may take place anywhere, at any time, & can affect many people leading to an epidemic. It is highly important to prevent the spread & contain any occurrence. 

Where is the Germ that Causes Cholera found & How is it Spread?

The germ Is found in contaminated water in rivers, pools, or dams, septic tanks, soak-away, & drainage. Vegetables & fruits exposed to dirty water can also carry the germ. The germ is also easily spread by flies. Raw or partially cooked food prepared with contaminated water, or by a person who does not wash his or her hands before handling food can be dangerous. Once the germ gets into the intestines it causes diarrhoea & vomiting. 

How can Cholera Be Contracted

  • Drinking contaminated water especially in areas where there are no toilets or tap water.
  • Playing or swimming in contaminated water.
  • Eating with unwashed hands after visiting the toilet.
  • Eating vegetables & fruits without washing them or washing them with contaminated water.
  • Eating raw or partially cooked seafood from an unsafe source.
  • Eating around a septic tank.
  • Using unflushed toilets with high deposits of faeces.

How can Cholera Be Prevented

The best cure for cholera is prevention. The following steps must be taken to prevent cholera from manifesting:

  1.  Drink water only from safe sources where in doubt about the quality of water boil the water before drinking or treat it.
  2. Always wash your hands before eating & handling food.
  3. Wash all vegetables & fruits thoroughly before eating them.
  4. Sewage should be treated before it is discharged into rivers, lagoons, lakes etc.
  5. Always flush your toilets after using them, never allow faeces to pile up in them. 
  6. Never go to the lavatory in the bush.
  7. Do not swim in a swimming pool that is never treated.
  8. Do not swim or play in open water or rivers that could be unsafe.
  9. Do not eat fish or seafood from contaminated rivers, waters, or lagoons.
  10.  Always wash your hands after using the toilet.
  11.  Have zero tolerance for flies. 
  12.  Do not use ice-blocks if the water came from unsafe source.
  13.  Apply the golden rule for food & water which is “BOIL IT, PEEL IT, WASH IT, COVER IT!

How can Cholera Be Treated

The first step in dealing with cholera is to replace the fluid that the body has lost from the diarrhoea & vomiting by as much drinking replacement fluid as you can. If the diarrhoea persists pay a visit to the nearest clinic, hospital, or doctor without delay.

Preparing the Replacement Fluid

You need

  • One (1) litre of boiled water (a 1 litre cool drink bottle can be used as measure)


  • Eight (8) teaspoons of sugar &
  • Half (1/2) a teaspoon of salt

Shake up the mixture very well. Drink as much of this as possible as soon as possible

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