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< prev - next > Cholera Prevention Fact Sheet (Printable PDF)
How to prevent CHOLERA
Cholera can be prevented through careful sanitation, careful use and treatment of
water before drinking or cooking, and careful handling of food.
• Dispose of dead bodies far from water sources.
Always wash carefully after handling.
• Build emergency sanitation facilities at least
30 meters from any water source. Ensure that
people can wash carefully after using the
Always wash hands after using the toilet.
Always wash hands before cooking.
• Do not drink untreated water.
• Treat water using at least 2 methods:
Filtering through fabric, sand or other
material and boiling
Filtering through fabric, sand or other
material and adding lime or lemon
Filtering through fabric, sand or other
material and adding chlorine
• Keep water containers clean and do not put
hands in drinking water.
• Cook food thoroughly and eat it while it is hot.
Fish and shellfish are a major cause of cholera:
only eat them if they are well-cooked.
• Do not mix cooked foods with raw foods like
salads or relishes.
• Exclude infected persons from handling food.
• Wash vegetables and fruit in treated water
before use, or peel them if there is no water.
• Discourage the habit of several people eating
together from a communal food container.
Preparing an Emergency Pit Latrine
In an emergency, while a more permanent latrine is
being built, a simple pit can be dug as a temporary
solution for the disposal of human excreta. It should
have a depth of at least 1/2 meter, and be at least 20
meters from a well or other source of drinking
water. Where possible, the pit should be at
least 6 meters from the nearest house.
It should not be located uphill from the
water source or dug in marshy soil.
The bottom of the pit should never penetrate the
groundwater table. After each use, a layer of soil
should be laid down in the pit. In an area affected by
cholera, the pit should also be coated each day
with a layer of unslaked lime. For more
information about other latrine
designs, please see Sanitation
and Cleanliness for a Healthy
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