5 Effective Ways to Prevent Cholera Amid Outbreak in Nigeria

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued a public health caution, warning of an increase in cholera cases nationwide as the rainy season intensifies.

This notice follows the initial report of an epidemic in Lagos State.

According to the advice, issued on Friday, June 14, 2024, there were 1,141 suspected cases and 65 confirmed cases of cholera between January 1 and June 11, 2024.

So far, 30 persons have been reported dead in 96 local governments across 30 states.

Business Elite Africa provides five effective strategies to avoid the spread of cholera.

1. Consume and use safe water

Drink only water from sealed bottles, boiled water, or water that has been filtered or treated with chemicals. This helps to prevent cholera, which thrives in unclean water.

Always wash and cook with clean water. If you make food with unclean water, you risk spreading cholera.

Use clean water to wash your hands and brush your teeth. This prevents deadly cholera bacteria from entering your body.

To ensure the safety of your water, boil it. This destroys cholera bugs and other pathogens. You can also purify the water with chlorine or other safe chemicals. Using a bacteria-removing water filter is another effective choice.

You may help prevent the spread of cholera by using clean and safe water, particularly in areas where the disease is prevalent.

2. Wash your hands regularly

To maintain good hygiene and avoid sickness, wash your hands before, during, and after preparing meals, before eating or serving others, after using the restroom, changing diapers, and caring for someone who has diarrhea.

If soap and safe water are unavailable, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help remove germs and prevent disease spread.

3. Cook the food appropriately

Cholera bacteria are killed at high temperatures, thus food should be thoroughly cooked. Make sure that all sections of the food are at least 70°C (158°F).

Foods like seafood, poultry, and eggs require special care to cook to safe temperatures. Use a food thermometer to ensure that the meat has achieved the proper internal temperature.

Eat your food right away when it’s cooked. If you need to preserve food, put it in a covered container at temperatures above 60°C (140°F) or below 5°C (41°F). Avoid leaving prepared food at room temperature, where bacteria can rapidly proliferate.

In cholera-prone locations, avoid raw items that cannot be peeled or that you have not peeled yourself. Raw or undercooked meats and seafood are especially dangerous. Salads and raw vegetables should only be ingested after being fully cleansed with safe water and peeled.

If reheating food, make sure it reaches 74°C (165°F) and stays there for at least two minutes. This procedure helps to destroy any bacteria that may have grown during storage.

4. Avoid open defecation

Building and utilizing latrines or toilets is the most effective approach to end open defecation. Governments, non-profit groups, and community leaders should work together to create affordable and accessible sanitation services.

Effective sanitation measures are critical for cholera prevention. Avoiding open defecation and having access to basic sanitation facilities are essential components in fighting the spread of cholera.

Significant progress can be achieved toward eradicating open defecation and improving public health outcomes through community involvement, education, and government support.

5. Keep the surroundings clean

Ensure that all residential and communal waste is appropriately disposed of. Garbage should be collected on a regular basis and disposed of in approved areas away from homes and water sources. This lowers the chance of contamination and discourages the spread of disease-carrying pests like flies and rats.

Regular cleaning and disinfection of public spaces, such as marketplaces, schools, and roadways, can help reduce the danger of cholera. This practice should be a community effort, engaging local officials to keep these spaces clean and waste-free.

Stagnant water can be a breeding environment for cholera bacteria. To avoid water collection, communities should keep drainage systems in good working order and clear of blockages. In flood-prone locations, efforts should be made to enhance drainage in order to limit the risk of pollution.

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