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Here are some precautions you should take to avoid contracting cholera

by Grace Sundram

As if COVID-19 isn’t enough for the world and for the nation, we are not hit with a case of cholera in Petaling Jaya.

The Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin has advised the public to only drink water that has been treated or boiled and avoid raw foods and always maintain personal hygiene.

What is cholera?


Some may have never heard or known about it, cholera is one of the water and foodborne diseases caused by a bacterial infection. Those infected with this cholera will experience diarrhoea and some also experience severe symptoms leading to severe dehydration.


According to the MyHealth Portal, cholera is easily spread in areas that do not have a clean water supply and proper toilet facilities. Cholera outbreaks also exist seasonally in endemic areas of Asia and Africa.

The cause of the disease of the year


  • Municipal water supply
  • Ice made from municipal water
  • Food and drink sold by street vendors
  • Vegetables are grown with water containing human waste
  • Raw or undercooked fish and seafood caught in waters contaminated with sewage

However, you will not be infected with cholera just from regular contact with an infected individual.

Measures to prevent cholera


Although there is a vaccine for cholera, doctors do not recommend it because it does not protect almost half of the people who receive it and can only survive for a few months.

Even so, you can protect yourself and your family by using boiled water, chemically purified water or bottled water.

Make sure this clean water is used for the following purposes:


  • Made into a drink
  • Preparation of food and beverages
  • Make ice
  • Brush teeth
  • Wash face and hands
  • Wash dishes and utensils used for eating and preparing food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables.
  • If to clean yourself, boil water for 1 minute (or 3 minutes at a higher temperature) or strain as well as use commercial disinfectant chemicals.

People can also avoid consuming raw foods such as:


  • Fruits and vegetables that are not peeled
  • Dairy products and unpasteurized milk
  • Undercooked or raw meat or shellfish
  • Fish trapped in tropical reefs that may be contaminated.

In any case, if you have diarrhoea, be sure to drink plenty of clean water and oral rehydration solution (ORS). If diarrhoea persists for more than 48 hours and the individual is unable to drink, immediately go to the hospital for treatment.

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