Global Task Force on Cholera Control

Prevention and control of cholera outbreaks: WHO policy and recommendations


WHO recommendations to unaffected neighbouring countries

Countries neighbouring an area affected by cholera should implement the following measures:

  • improve preparedness to rapidly respond to an outbreak, should cholera spread accross borders, and limit its consequences;
  • improve surveillance to obtain better data for risk assessment and early detection of outbreaks, including establishing an active surveillance system.

However, the following measures should be avoided, as they have been proven ineffective, costly and counter-productive:

  • routine treatment of a community with antibiotics, or mass chemoprophylaxis, has no effect on the spread of cholera, can have adverse effects by increasing antimicrobial resistance and provides a false sense of security;
  • restrictions in travel and trade between countries or between different regions of a country;
  • set up a cordon sanitaire at borders, a measure that diverts resources, hampers good cooperation spirit between institutions and countries instead of uniting efforts.
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