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Learn About Your Health: Cholera

Learn About  Your Health: Cholera

WHAT IS CHOLERA?

 
When a germ, found in contaminated ‘untreated water’ enters a person’s body it results in a sickness known as Cholera.
 
HOW DOES THE CHOLERA GERM SPREAD?
 
  • The most common spread of is through drinking contaminated water.
  • This is followed by use of untreated water for household purposes e.g. to wash and cook food.
  • By infecting anything touched if hands are not washed after every toilet visit.
  • Contact with an infected person’s stools and/or contaminated clothing and bedding.
  • Further contamination of water by washing contaminated items or throwing infected water back into main source e.g. river.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CHOLERA?
 
  • Constant runny stomach, mostly painless but very watery.
  • Muscle cramps, especially in the legs and arms.
  • The skin feels cold and looks wrinkled
  • The body loses water, natural salts and sugars because of diarrhoea and vomiting.  If these elements are not replaced, a person will dehydrate very quickly.
  • Dehydration is very dangerous and could lead to coma and death within a few hours!
HOW CAN CHOLERA BE AVOIDED?
 
  • Always drink only “treated water’ i.e. boiled or disinfected. 
  • Only eat food that is well cooked and eat it while it is still warm.   
  • Only use ‘treated water’ to wash and cook fruit and vegetables before eating and where possible, avoid raw or unpeeled fruit and vegetables.    
  • Do not wash in streams, rivers or dams – rather use facilities provided at Truck Stops.
  • Wash your hands before and after working with food.
  • Always wash your hands after using the toilet.
 
HOW TO MAKE SURE THAT DRINKING WATER IS SAFE:
 
Boil water for at least ten minutes and leave to cool before drinking OR Add 1 teaspoon of Jik or Javell to 25 litres of water.
 
 
HOW TO HELP SOMEONE WITH CHOLERA:
 
Mix one litre of clean, boiled water with 8 level teaspoons of sugar and ½ level teaspoon of salt.
 
Start to give them as much of this mixture as possible, at least two cups after each stool and seek professional medical attention immediately.
 
 

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