If you are like me you may love street food like mutura, or maybe you love roasted maize, boiled eggs and choma sausages with kachumbari, but this may be the time to give up your favourite snack. Cholera is the big word out there and we are living in dangerous times when that delicious bite of food or fruit could end up with you in the hospital. So stay safe and avoid those things for now.
Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial infection caused by consuming contaminated food or water. Not everyone who becomes infected will develop symptoms, but those who do will usually experience:severe, watery diarrhoea, feeling sick and having stomach cramps. – National Health Service UK.
So how do you protect yourself from cholera?
Drink and use safe water.
Drink only bottled water with unbroken seals (but to be on the safe side only drink boiled water that you have boiled yourself.)
Only use boiled water (safe) to brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, and also to make ice. For salads and fruits, you can wash them with a mixture of water and vinegar.
Clean your kitchenware and food preparation areas with soap and safe water (water treated with chlorine or household bleach, treated water or boiled water). Find out how to do it here. Let them dry completely before reuse.
Store your treated water in a clean, covered container.
2. Wash your hands with soap and safe water.
You need to wash your hands before you eat or prepare food, before feeding your children, after using the latrine or toilet, after cleaning your child’s bottom and after taking care of someone ill with diarrhoea.
3. Make sure you observe toilet hygiene.
Make sure you wash your hands with soap and safe water after going to the loo. Make sure the children do too.
Clean your toilet or latrine surfaces contaminated with faeces using a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water.
4. Make sure your food is well cooked (especially seafood).
Make sure you eat food when it is hot and you keep food covered.
Avoid raw foods in restaurants – this includes salads and cut fruits. If you must eat raw foods like fruits and vegetables make sure you eat foods that you have peeled yourself.
Make sure that any seafood you eat is hot, and it has been cooked all the way through.
5. Clean up safely away from drinking water sources
Make sure you or your family don’t bathe or wash clothes or put diapers near drinking water. You should be at least 30 meters (98 feet) away.
6. You can get a vaccine against cholera.
You can find out from your health provider if they can give you a vaccine against cholera.
Here is a chart to remember how to deal with cholera.
Potentash Founder. A creative writer. The Managing Editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories and stories about the inclusion of minorities. Find me at email@example.com.
“We're all stories, in the end.” ― Steven Moffat