Cholera is an important public health problem worldwide. It is a serious infection caused by ingestion of polluted food or water. This disease takes 12 hours to 5 days to show symptoms after consumption of contaminated food or water. Moreover, this infection if left untreated can kill a person within hours.
WHO estimates that every year there are nearly 1.3 to 4.0 million cases, and 21,000 to 143,000 deaths worldwide due to Cholera. According to WHO, in 2015, 172,454 cases and 1304 deaths of Cholera were reported worldwide. Total 41% of cases from Africa, 37% from Asia, and 21% from the Americans were reported to WHO. India receives 600,000 strains of Cholera every year.
Recommended Treatment by WHO
Cholera is an effortlessly curable disease. Most people can be treated effectively through quick administration of oral rehydration solution (ORS). Use bottled, boiled or chemically disinfected water to protect against Cholera. Moreover, avoid consuming raw or uncooked foods.
Advice for Patients
Clean water, proper sanitation, consuming hygienic food and maintaining hygiene are important steps for preventing Cholera.
Use Clean Water
Safe water is a key factor to prevent Cholera. Use hygienic water for drinking and cooking. Boil the water at 100⁰ C. Store water in a clean and enclosed container. Additionally, test the water for any bacteria and avoid drinking water directly without boiling or purifying.
Always wash hands with soap and water before eating or preparing food, after using toilets and after meeting with diarrheal patients to prevent infection due to Cholera. Washing hands with soap is important to remove the bacteria from hands.
Eat Safe, Covered and Cooked food
One of the important steps of preventing Cholera is eating well cooked food to avoid risk of catching an infection. Food should be consumed within 2 hours of cooking to avoid bacterial contamination of the food. Keep the food covered and prefer boiling food items such as vegetables before cooking.
Good hygiene helps prevent Cholera. Clip nails regularly to avoid dirt in nails. Clean kitchenware and the cooking area regularly. Wash yourself, children and clothes 30 meters away from drinking water.
In addition to above stated Cholera prevention measures, WHO recommends the use of Cholera vaccines.