The community should be informed about sources of contamination and ways to avoid infection. Hand washing is vital in all community and health facility settings. Attention to sanitation can reduce the risk of transmission of cholera as well as other diarrhoeal diseases.
This is especially true where lack of improved sanitation may lead to contamination of water sources. High priority should be given to observing the basic principles of sanitary human waste disposal and particularly the protection of water sources from faecal contamination.
• Use safe water. If people are concerned about the quality of water they use for drinking and cooking, it is recommended to treat the water first by boiling it (place water in a clean container and bring to a boil and keeping boiling for at least 1 minute) or treating it with household bleach (add 1 teaspoon of household bleach (containing 3 to 5% chlorine concentration) to 20 litres of water, mix well and leave it to stand for at least 30 minutes before use). Water should be stored covered in clean containers.
• Because contaminated food may also be a source of cholera infection, attention to food safety is an essential preventive measure in order to prevent faecal contamination of food-by-food handlers. Street vendors and communal food sources will require particular attention through health education, since they pose a special risk.
Are there any contact precautions?
- Don’t need to wear face masks to prevent cholera (still useful to prevent other respiratory viruses)
- Can use disposable gloves when preparing food provided you can change them frequently. Thorough handwashing is preferred.
- No special burial practices required for those that have passed due to diarrhoeal disease but family members and funeral parlours should take precautions stated above to prevent spread through bodily fluid contact for persons that pass away at home.