How to stop spread of cholera

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FEATURE -

THE best way to stop the spread of cholera is to stop the trans­mis­sion routes.

Hand wash­ing with soap, ash or chlo­rine so­lu­tion: Hand wash­ing should be done af­ter visit­ing the toi­let, af­ter clean­ing a child’s bot­tom, be­fore pre­par­ing food and be­fore eat­ing.

Only drink safe water: Water is made safe through boil­ing or chlo­ri­na­tion, for example with aqua tabs. Make sure the water con­tainer is clean and prop­erly closed.

Cook food thor­oughly: Avoid un­der­cooked or raw food. Peel any fruits and veg­eta­bles. Clean kitchen uten­sils with soap, chlo­rine so­lu­tion or in boil­ing water.

Keep kitchen area clean.

Dis­pose of/bury exc­reta and vomit in a safe place, away from any water source. If avail­able, use la­trine. Do not defe­cate in any water body.

If you sus­pect some­one has cholera

Im­me­di­ately start giv­ing oral re­hy­dra­tion so­lu­tion (ORS).

Seek pro­fes­sional health­care as cholera can kill within hours. This could be a lo­cal health cen­tre, ORS point or a cholera treat­ment cen­tre.

Con­tinue giv­ing ORS while go­ing to the health cen­tre. Con­tinue to breast­feed your baby if they have wa­tery di­ar­rhoea, even when trav­el­ling to get treat­ment.

If ORS sa­chets are avail­able, en­sure cor­rect mea­sure­ments to mix the so­lu­tion and only use safe water. Give ORS at least 5-7 times per day. Even if ORS sa­chets are not avail­able it is nec­es­sary to re­place lost flu­ids un­til reach­ing a health fa­cil­ity, like for example soups, but avoid sug­ary drinks.

While car­ing for a pa­tient with sus­pected cholera …

Wash hands with soap, ash or chlo­rine so­lu­tion af­ter tak­ing care of patients – touching them, their stools, their vom­its or their clothes.

Do not con­tam­i­nate the water source by wash­ing the pa­tient’s or your own clothes in the water. The clothes should be washed in chorine so­lu­tion or boiled while stir­ring. Dry the clothes in di­rect sun­light.

Wash la­trines and places where the per­son might have had di­ar­rhoea or have been vom­it­ing with chlo­rine so­lu­tion or soap. In­form and ex­plain good hy­giene prac­tices to peo­ple in the fam­ily or other peo­ple that have been in con­tact with the pa­tient.

What should you do if you or your fam­ily is ill with di­ar­rhoea

Go im­me­di­ately to the near­est health fa­cil­ity, cholera treat­ment cen­tre, or com­mu­nity health worker, if you can.

Con­tinue to drink ORS at home and while you travel to get treat­ment.

Con­tinue to breast­feed your baby if they have wa­tery di­ar­rhoea, even when trav­el­ing to get treat­ment.

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