What are the WHO guidelines for cholera management?

Updated: Feb 03, 2021
  • Author: Sajeev Handa, MBBCh, BAO, LRCSI, LRCPI; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Table 7. WHO Guidelines for Cholera Management (Open Table in a new window)

Steps in the treatment of a patient with suspected cholera are as follows:

1. Assess for dehydration (see Table 1)

2. Rehydrate the patient and monitor frequently, then reassess hydration status

3. Maintain hydration; replace ongoing fluid losses until diarrhea stops

4. Administer an oral antibiotic to the patient with severe dehydration

5. Feed the patient

More detailed guidelines for the treatment of cholera are as follows:

  • Evaluate the degree of dehydration upon arrival

  • Rehydrate the patient in 2 phases; these include rehydration (for 2-4 h) and maintenance (until diarrhea abates)

  • Register output and intake volumes on predesigned charts and periodically review these data

  • Use the intravenous route only (1) during the rehydration phase for severely dehydrated patients for whom an infusion rate of 50-100 mL/kg/h is advised, (2) for moderately dehydrated patients who do not tolerate the oral route, and (3) during the maintenance phase in patients considered high stool purgers (ie, >10 mL/kg/h)

  • During the maintenance phase, use oral rehydration solution at a rate of 800-1000 mL/h; match ongoing losses with ORS administration

  • Discharge patients to the treatment center if oral tolerance is greater than or equal to 1000 mL/h, urine volume is greater than or equal to 40 mL/h, and stool volume is less than or equal to 400 mL/h.