Drought: ‘Together we can help prevent cholera’

2015-11-04 06:00
Wash your hands regularly with clean and purified water. Photo: sourced

Wash your hands regularly with clean and purified water. Photo: sourced

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

What is cholera?

•An infection of the intestine caused by water-borne bacteria Vibrio cholerae resulting in illness characterised by acute watery diarrhoea (runny tummy). Cholera can cause rapid dehydration (loss of fluids) and death if not treated quickly and successfully.

Who is at risk?

•People using unclean water from environmental sources such as rivers, streams, bore-holes, dams, wells and those who do not have access to adequate and proper sanitation.

How is cholera spread?

•By drinking water or eating food that is infected with cholera bacteria.

This happens when an infected person handles food without washing their hands, or relieves themselves into a water source. Communities using unclean water for drinking or washing of eating utensils are at risk.

•Cholera is NOT spread from person to person.

•Water that is properly purified will not be a risk.

What are the signs and symptoms of cholera?

•Most people who become infected with cholera have no symptoms but will have the bacteria in their faeces.

•Symptoms may occur from a few hours to five days after being infected

(usually two to three days).

•Sudden occurrence of severe, painless watery diarrhoea – in some cases ‘rice-water’ appearance.

•Vomiting may occur early in the illness.

•Dehydration may develop within hours of being ill and may progress very rapidly.

•In severe cases: muscle cramps, cold sweaty skin, rapid breathing.

•If not treated, serious complications may occur, e.g. kidney failure.

How to protect yourself from cholera disease?

•Use clean/purified water for drinking and washing of food and utensils.

•Boil or purify water that is collected from rivers, bore-holes, streams, dams, wells and tanks before drinking or washing food and utensils.
How to purify water:

•Mix a teaspoon or capful of household bleach with 20-25 litres of water and let it stand for at least two hours (preferably overnight)


•Allow water to boil (bubble) for at least one full minute.

•Always store purified water in a clean, covered container.

•Wash hands with soap and clean/purified water before and after handling food, and after using the toilet or changing a baby’s nappy.

•Wash fruit and vegetables with clean/purified water before eating.

•Cook food well.

•Store food under hygienic conditions – keep it covered in a clean, cool place.

•Do not relieve yourself in or near rivers and other water sources.

•Faeces should be disposed of in a way that does not pollute water sources.

What should you do if you or a family member has diarrhoea?

•Prepare a mixture of oral rehydration fluid for the person to drink on their way to the clinic/hospital

• Go to the nearest clinic/hospital immediately.

How to prepare oral rehydration fluid

* Boil one litre of water, add eight teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt and mix well. Drink constantly.

- iLembe District Municipality

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.