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Cholera

Cholera Treatment and Prevention continued...

To disinfect your own water, boil it for one minute or filter it and add two drops of bleach or one-half of an iodine tablet per liter of water.

You should also avoid raw foods, including the following:

  • Unpeeled fruits and vegetables
  • Unpasteurized milk and milk products
  • Raw or undercooked meat or shellfish
  • Fish caught in tropical reefs, which may be contaminated

If you develop severe, watery diarrhea and vomiting -- particularly after eating raw shellfish or traveling to a country where cholera is epidemic -- seek medical help immediately. Cholera is highly treatable, but because dehydration can happen quickly, it's important to get cholera treatment right away.

Hydration is the mainstay of treatment for cholera. Depending on how severe the diarrhea is, treatment will consist of oral or intravenous solutions to replace lost fluids. Antibiotics, which kill the bacteria, are not part of emergency treatment.  They reduce the duration of diarrhea by half and also reduce the excretion of the bacteria, thus helping to prevent the spread of the disease.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Ann Edmundson, MD, PhD on October 14, 2012

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