12 July 2007

What can I do to avoid cholera?

If you are travelling to a country in which cholera is common a few basic precautions should be taken.

By taking a few basic precautions:

  • Wash your hands regularly. Regular hand washing is the best way to control cholera infection. Wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water, especially before eating, preparing food and after the using the toilet.

  • Drink only water that has been boiled or disinfected with chlorine, iodine or other suitable products. Products for disinfecting water are generally available in pharmacies. Hot tea or coffee, wine, beer, carbonated water or soft drinks are generally safe to drink.

  • Avoid ice, unless you are sure it is made of safe water.

  • Eat food that has been thoroughly cooked and is still hot when served. Cooked food that has been held at room temperature for several hours and served without being reheated can be an important source of infection.

  • Avoid raw seafood and other raw foods. The exceptions are fruits and vegetables that you have peeled or shelled yourself.

  • Boil unpasteurized milk before drinking it.

  • Ice cream from unreliable sources is frequently contaminated and can cause illness. If in doubt, avoid it.

  • Be sure that meals bought from street vendors are thoroughly cooked in your presence and do not contain any uncooked foods.


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