How Family Members Can Prevent Infection
- Drink and use safe water
- Cook food thoroughly
- Wash hands with soap and safe water after caring for the patients, and especially after handling poop
- Remove and wash any bedding or clothing that may have had contact with diarrhea, preferably in a washing machine using warm or hot water. Usual machine detergents are sufficient; bleach is not necessary.
- Use a flush toilet or approved septic system; double bag soiled materials (items contaminated with poop) when throwing them away.
- Use any household disinfectant or a bleach solution made up of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to clean any area that may have contact with poop, including the patient’s bathroom, bedpan, as soon as possible after being soiled.
- When possible, use rubber gloves when cleaning any room or surface that may have had contact with the patient’s poop.
- Patients with cholera should not swim until their symptoms have been gone for 2 weeks.
- If another household member starts having diarrhea, give themoral rehydration solution (ORS) and go to a healthcare provider immediately.
- While caring for persons who are sick with cholera, do not serve food or drink to anyone outside of the household.
- Any visitors should be very careful to avoid touching contaminated surfaces and should wash hands thoroughly before leaving and again when they arrive at their next destination.
Page last reviewed: September 8, 2020