Hesperian Health Guides
How to prevent CHOLERA
Cholera can be prevented through careful sanitation, careful use and treatment of water before drinking or cooking, and careful handling of food.
- Build emergency sanitation facilities at least 30 meters from any water source. Ensure that people can wash carefully after using the toilet.
- Always wash hands after using the toilet.
- Always wash hands before preparing food.
- Cholera germs can live in body fluids like diarrhea and vomit. When caring for sick people, wear gloves or put plastic bags over your hands and wash yourself often.
Preparing an Emergency Trench Latrine
Death and Burial: Bodies should be buried at least 30 meters from water sources. If you are washing a body for burial, don't let your grief make you forget to wash yourself well.
How to identify CHOLERA
(signs and symptoms)
Cholera is a severe form of diarrhea caused by a bacteria in water. Cholera can spread very quickly in emergencies and can lead to many deaths. Signs of cholera are:
Diarrhea “like rice water” in large amounts
Diarrhea and vomiting can lead very quickly to severe dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours. To help the community identify and prevent cholera, everyone should learn how to:
Practice healthy sanitation
Prepare food safely
Make oral rehydration drink
To prevent cholera, the free flow of information is essential to prevent panic spreading through the community. Only through knowing what cholera is and how to prevent it will everyone be safe.
How to treat CHOLERA
The most important treatment for cholera is oral rehydration. Except in severe cases, antibiotics will not help at all. When a person has watery diarrhea or diarrhea and vomiting, do not wait for signs of dehydration. Act quickly.
Give lots of liquids to drink such as a thin cereal porridge or gruel, soup, water or rehydration drink.
Keep giving food. As soon as the sick child or adult can eat, give frequent feedings of foods he likes. To babies, keep giving breast milk often — and before other drinks.
Rehydration drink helps to prevent or treat dehydration. It does not cure cholera or diarrhea, but may give enough time for the illness to go away by itself.
How to make rehydration drink
Below are 2 ways to make rehydration drink. If you can, add half a cup of fruit juice, coconut water, or mashed ripe banana to either drink. These contain potassium, a mineral that helps a sick person accept more food and drink.
Give a child sips of this drink every 5 minutes, day and night, until he begins to urinate normally. A large person needs 3 or more liters a day. A small child usually needs at least 1 liter a day, or 1 glass for each watery stool. Keep giving the drink often, and in small sips. Even if the person vomits, not all of the drink will be vomited.
Made with powdered cereal and salt.
Powdered rice is best. But you can use finely ground maize, wheat flour, sorghum, or cooked and mashed potatoes.
and 8 heaping teaspoons of powdered CEREAL.
Boil for 5 to 7 minutes to form a liquid gruel or watery porridge. Cool the drink quickly and begin to give it to the sick person.
Made with sugar and salt.
You can use raw, brown or white sugar, or molasses.
and 8 level teaspoons of SUGAR .
How to make water safe for drinking and cooking
Surface water and water from leaking pipes, open cisterns, and wells may be contaminated with cholera and other germs. This water should be carefully treated before drinking!
When drinking water comes from surface water or other water that is likely contaminated with germs, there are different ways it can be disinfected: boiling, bleaching, adding lime or lemon, and using sunlight. No matter how it is treated it should be settled and filtered first, or the treatment may not work.
|1. Settle and filter the water|
|2. Disinfect the water|
|Water||5% Chlorine Bleach|
|For 1 liter or 1 quart||2 drops|
|For 1 gallon or 4 liters||8 drops|
|For 5 gallons or 20 liters||½ teaspoon|
|For a 200 liter barrel||5 teaspoons|
|Use lime or lemon|
(This method will not kill all germs, but is safer than no treatment at all and can prevent many cases of cholera.)
Sunlight (solar disinfection or SODIS) works best in countries close to the equator, where the sun is strong.Fill a clean plastic bottle, or a plastic bag, half full with water, then shake it for 20 seconds. This adds air bubbles which help disinfect the water faster. Then fill the bottle to the top. Place the bottle where it is hot and sunny, and where people and animals will not disturb it, such as the roof of a house. Leave the bottle for at least 6 hours in full sun, or for 2 days if the weather is cloudy.
|3. Keep water containers clean|