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close this bookCholera: Basic Facts for Travellers (WHO, 1998, 2 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWhat is cholera?
View the documentWhat should I do if I think I may have cholera?
View the documentWhere are the outbreaks of cholera?
View the documentDo vaccinations work against cholera?
View the documentWhat can I do to avoid cholera?

What can I do to avoid cholera?

By taking a few basic precautions when travelling, cholera as well as most other food and water-borne diseases can easily be prevented. The main rule is: Always be aware of the quality of what you eat and drink when you are travelling.

· Drink only water that has been boiled or disinfected with chlorine, iodine or other suitable products. Products for disinfecting water are generally available in pharmacies. Beverages such as hot tea or coffee, wine, beer, carbonated water or soft drinks, and bottled or packaged fruit juices are also usually safe to drink

· Avoid ice, unless you are sure that it is made from safe water.

· Eat food that has been thoroughly cooked and is still hot when served. Cooked food that has been held at room temperature for several hours and served without being reheated can be an important source of infection.

· Avoid raw seafood and other raw foods, except fruits and vegetables that you have peeled or shelled yourself. Remember: Cook it, peel it, or leave it.

· Boil unpasteurized milk before drinking it.

· Ice cream from unreliable sources is frequently contaminated and can cause illness. If in doubt, avoid it.

· Be sure that meals bought from street vendors are thoroughly cooked in your presence and do not contain any uncooked foods.

If you are travelling with family members or others, ensure that they also take these precautions. Infants under six months who are breast-fed, and receive no other foods or drinks, have a low risk of infection.