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Cholera - how worried should I be?

(7 Posts)
Tolalola Thu 25-Nov-10 19:11:31

Hoping someone may be able to give me a bit of advice - I live in the West Indies and our government has just put us under "cholera watch" because apparently, the disease has started to spread out from Haiti to other countries in the region.

There is a fair amount of traffic back and forth from Haiti to here, and there are sanitation issues here (raw sewage in open sewers which overflow when it rains, etc.)

I am pg and have a nearly 3yo, and I suppose I am just wondering how contagious cholera is in not ridiculously crowded conditions, and how serious it is likely to be in otherwise healthy people? What precautions should we be taking and what would our time-limit likely be for seeking treatment, etc?

Sorry if I sound a bit silly, have really got the wind up about this, for some reason!
Thanks for any advice.

mamaloco Fri 26-Nov-10 16:21:21

That is the advice from the UK embassy. They refer to it as a guidance. 1110.htm

It answers all your questions about precautions, if you read past the 1 paragraph...


Themasterandmargaritas Fri 26-Nov-10 16:34:38

We have also lived in West Africa during a cholera epidemic and it is quite worrying, however you are not likely to be directly affected because in theory you have decent sanitation and hygiene facilities in your house and I am assuming you drink either bottled water (as we do here in Kenya) or you boil/sterilise your drinking water already.

Those most at risk are in areas where contaminated faeces seep into the water supply and affect people through their drinking water or through contaminated food that hasn't been washed properly.

If you stick by the boil it, peel it rule for food you should be fine. It is not contagious, ie can't be spread from person to person, but I would ensure your staff (if you have some) are also aware of what they should do in terms of drinking water and cooking food, plus basic hand washing hygiene, using SOAP everytime they wash their hands, after the toilet, before preparing food etc.

There is a vaccine you can give the little one, but it's not terribly effective. Also if you get a bad case of diarrhoea it's best to get it checked out asap. Cholera can be managed if diagnosed early. See the CDC website here for more information.

OnlyWantsOne Fri 26-Nov-10 16:36:18

hey where abouts in WI are you?

Tolalola Fri 26-Nov-10 19:10:55

Thanks mamaloco, that link looks useful - will definitely have a read.

Themasterandmargaritas (love your name) actually, at the moment we drink filtered 'street' (government) water, but we've had some heavy rains and lots of flooding sewers around the place lately, so I might switch us to bottled for now just in case.

OnlyWantsOne, I'm in the BVI. Are you in WI?

VivaLeBeaver Fri 26-Nov-10 19:17:47

I worked in a hospital in a cholera epidemic and was never really concerned that I might catch it even though I had direct patient care. I'd had the vaccine and was taking all the precautions with food and water.

OnlyWantsOne Fri 26-Nov-10 19:34:36

Tolalola no, spend a lot of time in St Lucia over the years that is all

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