Guidelines for Cholera Control, 1993
ISBN: 92 4 154449 X
Document available through the WHO bookorders site
Sets out the facts and advice needed to guide public health actions in response to an outbreak of cholera. Noting that the introduction of cholera into a country cannot be prevented, the book stresses the many things that can be done to prepare the health services, educate the general public, save the lives of patients, and prevent the further spread of an outbreak. The objective is to help managers of national diarrhoeal disease control programmes and non-governmental agencies to make the most effective decisions, whether concerning the selection of medical supplies or the emergency response to an epidemic. Throughout, emphasis is placed on the importance of safe water, scrupulous personal hygiene, and careful food preparation as the most effective preventive measures. Readers are also alerted to public health interventions, such as vaccination, mass chemoprophylaxis, and cordon sanitaire, which are ineffective, wasteful, and therefore to be discouraged.
The opening chapters describe what national programmes should do to be prepared for an outbreak of cholera, outline the actions to take at the earliest stage of an outbreak, and provide guidelines for the management of patients, including advice on the use of oral rehydration therapy and antibiotics. The remaining chapters cover measures for preventing the spread of an outbreak, the epidemiological investigation of an outbreak, the role of the laboratory, and long-term preventive activities. The second part, which consists of five annexes, provides brief advice on the construction of a ventilated improved pit latrine, followed by a detailed step-by-step guide to the management of cholera patients, a selection of sample health education messages, and nine rules for safe food preparation to prevent cholera. The book concludes with guidelines describing a simple and rapid method for the isolation and identification of Vibrio cholerae O1 in diarrhoeal stools.