Cholera, a water-borne disease, can lead to severe dehydration and swift death if not treated promptly. It is especially dangerous for children, sick and elderly people.
Every year the Ministry of Public Health takes the necessary measures in preventing the disease and preparations for providing medicines and other assistances throughout the country.
What is cholera?
Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water. The disease causes diarrhoea, which can swiftly lead to severe dehydration and death. Victims can also suffer from vomiting.
Why does cholera spread so quickly?
Cholera is easily transmitted and the number of infected people can rise very quickly.
In places where sanitation is poor, the infected waste can get into waterways infecting water used by people. After floods or droughts, people are forced to use unsafe water for drinking, washing and cooking.
Cholera is rarely spread directly from person to person.
What should I do if I suspect I have cholera?
The most important treatment is rehydration with clean or sterilized water. Early rehydration can save the lives of nearly all cholera patients.
Most can be rehydrated quickly and easily by drinking large quantities of a solution of oral rehydration salts. In severe cases, antibiotics might be needed.
People who suspect they have cholera should seek medical advice.
What can I do to protect myself and my family?
Make sure that your drinking water is clean. Water for drinking, washing or cooking, should be sterilized before use by either boiling, chlorinating, solar water disinfection or filtration.
It is important to wash hands with soap particularly before handling food or eating. Safe preparation and storage of food is also of utmost importance.
Always wash your hands after visiting a place where people have cholera.