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What is Cholera?

Cholera is a bacterial infection which is contracted by drinking contaminated water or by eating food which has been in contact with contaminated water, flies or soiled hands. The germs which cause cholera can be found in the stools of human beings.


  • Watery stools (diarrhoea sudden in onset)
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid Dehydration (caused by loss of body water)

To Prevent Cholera

  • Use only clean, treated or boiled water.
  • Wash all raw food with clean, treated or boiled water
  • Wash your hands before handling or eating food
  • Wash food utensils in clean, treated or boiled water
  • Protect food from fly contamination and prevent fly contamination in your homes
  • Use proper toilet facilities only and wash hands after use.
  • Do not allow children to play in dirty pools, rivulets or storm water outlets
  • Do not contaminate rivers or leave sewage where it can be washed into a river by rain

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Copyright KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, 2001

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