Stay safe from cholera today by making these lifestyle changes!

In a recent article, Marie Claire shared news of the recent outbreak of cholera in Nigeria. Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.

In the wake of a cholera outbreak, the very essence of daily life is profoundly altered. Hand in hand with the rising threat of the spread of this disease, the need to adapt and embrace crucial lifestyle changes becomes crucial in a bid to avoid a national crisis.


Cholera - Causes, Symptoms,Treatment and Prevention of Cholera

Most people infected with Vibrio cholerae do not develop any symptoms, although the bacteria are present in their faeces for 1–10 days after infection and are shed back into the environment, potentially infecting other people.

Among people who develop symptoms, the majority have mild or moderate symptoms. It takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms. A minority of patients develop acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration. This can lead to death if left untreated.

Read More: Cholera outbreak claims 30 lives in Nigeria, calls for urgent public health action

Preventive measures against cholera

The delicate balance between health and illness rests upon the choices we make in our day-to-day routines. Lifestyle changes during a cholera outbreak are essential to prevent the spread of the disease and protect individuals and communities.

Wash your hands and sanitise

Maintaining good hygiene practices such as regular handwashing with soap and clean water, especially before handling food and after using the toilet. It is advisable to always have hand sanitizer

Drink clean water

The importance of consuming safe, clean water can not be overemphasized. Drink water from only trusted sources and carry a bottle of water with you if you’re unsure about the conditions of public water sources. Boiling or treating water before drinking is a good alternative for places with unsafe water to prevent cholera transmission through contaminated water sources

Maintain proper food hygiene

It is crucial to maintain proper food hygiene, including cooking food thoroughly, avoiding raw or undercooked foods, and ensuring food is stored in hygienic conditions to prevent contamination. Foods pass through several channels to get to its final consumer so ensure to wash and cook foods thoroughly. It is also recommended to avoid all street food as their cooking conditions can not be ascertained.

Clean your environment

Using clean and safe toilets, clearing gutters and clogged pipes, disposing of waste properly, and maintaining a clean environment are crucial to prevent the spread of cholera.


Seek medical attention promptly if you are experiencing symptoms of cholera, such as severe diarrhea and dehydration, to receive appropriate treatment and prevent complications. Here are some common treatment methods

Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV)

Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) are administered orally to elicit a local immune response in the gut, where the intestinal cells produce antibodies against the cholera microbe. In Nigeria, it costs about ₦30,000 for a single dose, and two doses are required to be taken 1-6 weeks apart to provide maximum immunity for the next 5 years. Famasi Africa has partnered with several pharmacies to reduce the cost of a single dose to ₦15,000.

Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS)

When vaccines are not accessible and the disease is contracted, obtaining an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) from pharmacies is the primary form of treatment. It is available in powder form in sachets and administered orally when completely dissolved in clean water

Alternatively, one could also make a homemade version of the Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) and administer it within intervals to combat dehydration.

Recipe for Making a 1-litre ORS Solution

  • Clean Water of about 1 litre or 5 cupfuls (each cup about 200 ml.)
  • Sugar – Six level teaspoons
  • Salt – Half-level teaspoon
  • Stir the mixture till the sugar dissolves.

In most cases, the homemade solution is adequate. In severe diarrhea cases, seek a medical practitioner.

Community Awareness

Sharing the information you have about cholera with people; its symptoms, prevention measures, and the importance of early treatment goes a long way to help curb the spread of Cholera. Public gatherings such as churches, schools, mosques, and offices should create awareness about the cholera outbreak to ensure everyone is well informed and taking measures to be safe.

By incorporating these lifestyle changes, you stand a greater chance of not being susceptible to the harmful effects of the Cholera outbreak as well as overall protection against the disease.


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