How to Prevent Cholera while Travelling

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 23, 2014
Quick Bites

  • Cholera infection has been found to cause only mild diarrhoea in most cases.
  • It is absolutely necessary that you wash your hands before eating.
  • It is always safer to boil water before drinking as it can contain bacteria.
  • Also it is important to avoid raw and unwashed food.

Cholera which was once a deadly disease has now more or less become controllable. It is basically a diarrhoeal disease which can affect both adults as well as children.

preventing cholera when travellingInfection caused by cholera has been found to cause only mild diarrhoea in most cases with no symptoms at all. In about 5 to 10 percent cases of cholera the patients develop severe watery diarrhoea and vomiting for about six hours for five days. This happens after the patient gets exposed to the bacterium. In such extreme cases the amounts of fluid gets lost rapidly from the patient’s body leading to a severe case of dehydration. If there are no adequate treatments for the patient then it could even lead to death within hours. If you are travelling then you should be careful about getting affected by cholera, taking precautions is necessary. Here are some ways in which you can prevent cholera while travelling.

Before going into details of preventing oneself while travelling from Cholera, let us first understand how Cholera spreads.

The Occurrence of Cholera and how it Spreads

Cholera can affect someone who drinks water or eats food that is contaminated by the bacterium. The most common sources of cholera are food borne infection which includes raw or poorly cooked seafood, raw fruit and vegetables and also other foods that get contaminated during the stage of preparation or storage.

The bacteria which are present in the faceces of an infected person are the main source of contamination and this bacterium can live in the environment of the rivers and coastal waters. Cholera can spread very rapidly in those areas where there is sewage and drinking water supplies are not enough.

Prevention when Travelling

Travelling can bring about a lot of risks of cholera. There are some prevention methods that one should acknowledge when travelling, such as washing hands before preparing food and also before eating. Also one should be boiling water before drinking and using sanitary facilities.

Travellers should be taking steps in order to protect themselves against cholera and other such food and water borne diseases and therefore the most important thing to do it to keep a check on what a traveller is consuming. Anything consumable should be clean and free of germs. One of the best rules is, boil, cook and peel.

Drinking Water

A traveller should drink water that has been boiled and disinfected with chlorine, iodine or any other such suitable products. These disinfecting products are available in pharmacies and beverages such as hot tea or coffee, wine, beer, carbonated water or soft drinks are bottled or packaged fruit juices are usually safe to drink. Try to avoid ice, unless you are sure that it is the byproduct of clean water.

Eating Food

The food you eat also should be clean and cooked well and must be still hot when served. The cooked food that has been lying under room temperature for long time and then served without being heated can be an important source of infection.

No Raw Foods

You will do well by avoiding raw foods with of course the exception of fruits and vegetables that have been peeled or shelled by you.

No Street Vendors

When travelling by road there is a high chance that you may stumble upon food items served by vendors on the street. You should make sure that this food that you purchase from street vendors is clean and well cooked. Unless you are completely sure you should not eat, therefore it is best to avoid them.

Wash Hands

You are advised to wash your hands before you eat when travelling. Germs are always there to cling on to you when you are travelling and so you should always wash your hands before you decide to eat. Better still, you should use cutleries to eat food.

Cholera can be very bad for your health and may even lead to death, and so you must be careful to prevent yourself from it. Travelling can bring about many risks of cholera, be careful and travel safe.

Read more articles on Communicable Diseases.

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