How Family Members of People with Suspect or Confirmed Cholera Can Prevent Infection:
Drink and use safe water
Cook food thoroughly
Wash hands with soap and safe water after caring for the patients, and especially after handling faecal matter
Remove and wash any bedding or clothing that may have had contact with diarrhoeal stool, preferably in a washing machine, in warm or hot water. Usual machine detergents are sufficient; bleach is not necessary.
Use a flush toilet or approved septic system; double bag soiled materials when discarding in trash.
Use any household disinfectant or a 1:10 dilution of bleach solution (1-part bleach to 9 parts water) to clean any area that may have contact with faecal matter, including the patient’s bathroom, bedpan, as soon as possible after being soiled.
When possible, use rubber gloves when cleaning any room or surface that may have had contact with the patient’s faecal matter.
Patients with cholera should not swim while ill with diarrhoea or for 2 weeks after resolution of symptoms.
If a household member develops acute, watery diarrhoea, administer oral rehydration solution (ORS) and seek healthcare immediately
While caring for persons who are ill with cholera, do not serve food or drink to persons who are not household members
Visitors can be allowed if the ill person wants company; visitors should also observe hand hygiene recommendations.
Basic Tips for cholera
All people (visitors or residents) in areas where cholera is occurring or has occurred should be aware of the basic cholera facts and follow these five basic cholera prevention steps to protect themselves and their family.
- Drink and use safe water
Bottled water with unbroken seals and canned/bottled carbonated beverages are safe to drink and use.
Use safe water to brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, and to make ice.
Clean food preparation areas and kitchenware with soap and safe water and let dry completely before reuse.
To be sure water is safe to drink and use:
- a) Boil it or treat it with a chlorine product or household bleach.
- b) If boiling, bring your water to a complete boil for at least 1 minute.
c)To treat your water with chlorine, use one of the locally available treatment products and follow the instructions. For a list of products distributed by country, visit CDC’s Safe Water System website.
- d) If a chlorine treatment product is not available, you can treat your water with household bleach. Add 8 drops of household bleach for every 1 gallon of water (or 2 drops of household bleach for every 1 litre of water) and wait 30 minutes before drinking.
- e) Always store your treated water in a clean, covered container.
Piped water sources, drinks sold in cups or bags, or ice may not be safe and should be boiled or treated with chlorine
- Wash your hands often with soap and safe water
Before you eat or prepare food
Before feeding your children
After using the latrine or toilet
After cleaning your child’s bottom
After taking care of someone ill with diarrhoea
If no soap is available, scrub hands often with ash or sand and rinse with safe water.
- a) Use latrines or bury your faeces (poop); do not defecate in any body of water
Use latrines or other sanitation systems, like chemical toilets, to dispose of faeces.
Wash hands with soap and safe water after defecating.
Clean latrines and surfaces contaminated with faeces using a solution of 1-part household bleach to 9 parts water.
- b) What if I don’t have a latrine or chemical toilet?
Defecate at least 30 meters (98 ft) away from any body of water and then bury your faeces.
Dispose of plastic bags containing faeces in latrines, at collection points if available, or bury it in the ground. Do not put plastic bags in chemical toilets.
Dig new latrines or temporary pit toilets at least a half-meter (1.6 ft) deep and at least 30 meters (98 ft) away from any body of water.
- Cook food well (especially seafood), keep it covered, eat it hot, and peel fruits and vegetables, collapsed
Boil it, cook it, peel it, or Leave it.
Be sure to cook shellfish (like crabs and crayfish) until they are very hot all the way through.
Avoid raw foods other than fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself.
- Clean up safely — in the kitchen and in places where the family bathes and washes clothes collapsed
Wash yourself, your children, diapers, and clothes, 30 meters (98 feet) away from drinking water sources