What is the role of environmental control in the prevention of cholera?

Updated: Feb 03, 2021
  • Author: Sajeev Handa, MBBCh, BAO, LRCSI, LRCPI; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Education in environmental control is critical for the prevention of cholera. The source of V cholerae in nature is human excrement, and the most common vehicle of infection is water. Environmental control must focus on keeping these elements apart.

In the developed world, much has been done in public health planning and in the engineering of water conservation and sewage disposal. However, in developing countries, contamination of water by human excrement is a daily hazard. Members of these populations experience a constant cycle of infection, excretion, and reinfection. Education about the sterilization of water and hand-washing techniques is critical but difficult.

Contamination via food is also an important consideration. The source of this contamination is impure water used to wash or flush vegetables and fruit. Water contamination occurs via sewage or soil that is used to fertilize crops. In this situation, training food handlers is necessary.

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