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.