Cholera: Prevention and Control
What is cholera disease?
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- Cholera disease causes a lot of watery diarrhea and vomiting.
- Cholera diarrhea can look like cloudy rice water.
- Cholera can cause death from dehydration (the loss of
water and salts from the body) within hours if not treated.
How is cholera spread?
- Cholera germs are found in the feces (poop) of infected people.
- Cholera is spread when feces (poop) from an infected person gets into the water people drink or the food people eat.
- Cholera is not likely to spread directly from one person to another.
Protect yourself and your family from cholera and other diarrheal diseases:
- Drink and use safe water.
Safe water is water that is bottled with an unbroken seal, has been boiled, or has been treated with a chlorine product.
- Wash hands often with soap and safe water.
If no soap is available, scrub hands often with ash or sand and rinse with safe water.
- Use latrines or bury your feces (poop), do not defecate in any body of water.
- Cook food well (especially seafood), eat it hot, keep it covered, and peel fruits and vegetables.
- Clean up safely—in the kitchen and in places where your family bathes and washes clothes.
What to do if you or your family are ill with diarrhea:
- If you have oral rehydration solution (ORS), start taking it now; it can save your life.
- Go immediately to the nearest health facility, cholera treatment center, 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 diarrhea, even when traveling to get treatment.
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