Preventing Cholera

How to avoid cholera and know what to do

The "miserable" disease of Cholera and what to do:
Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease, caused by ingestion of food
or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholorae and it
can kill in hours if left untreated. Thankfully the last active case
of cholera as an epidemic was in 1911, but preppers should be
aware that it could happen again and there have been some
cases in the United States.

The truth about Cholera is that originated in the Ganges delta in
India and spread across the continents during the 19th Century
and continues to circulate!

  • You may have thought that Les Misérables is a story of the
    French Revolution, but it's actually about the severe
    economic crisis after the deadly cholera epidemic of 1832
    swept through Paris. Cholera exacerbated a severe economic
    crisis and left many poor and miserable people.

  • Pioneers suffered from cholera and dysentery. Cholera, from
    the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae, can be caused from
    contaminated drinking water. Symptoms of cholera may
    range from none, to mild, to severe ~ some along the
    Oregon trail survived, while others perished. Dysentery can
    be caused by bacteria, virus or parasite.

  • Haiti today, continues to suffer from cholera after the epic
    earthquake and the United Nations relief help, which
    inadvertently brought cholera to the region exacerbating
    their troubles.

How to Prevent Cholera
Telltale signs of cholera are not so easy to discern until it's too
late ~ after painful cramps, excessive vomiting and violent
diarrhea a person's face turns blue and pinched.

Think of cholera as a deadly sibling to
E. coli or typhoid. It's
almost impossible to discern cholera from other diarrheal
diseases without a stool sample, but during an outbreak acute
watery diarrhea is a helpful indicator. Cholera also has a
remarkably similar appearance to arsenic poisoning. While it has
the initial appearance of many diseases, it is a deadly illness that
could have you seeing someone well and happy by morning and
dead by nightfall.

How will cholera come to America?

  • International travel. Most all cholera cases reported in the
    United States have come from international travel, including
    Africa, Haiti, and Southeast Asia. Travellers consume water
    or food infected with cholera. Consider vaccination if you
    travel to the areas mentioned above.

  • Food borne outbreak. Food borne outbreaks could bring
    Cholera to the United State and in fact, imported seafood
    has caused cholera infections in the past.

  • Water outbreak. Cholera is a free-living organism that
    survive in seawater or freshwater.

  • Flooding. Flooding inevitably increases potential exposure to
    contaminated water.

  • Biological weapon. Another way cholera could get to the
    United States is through bioterrorism. Symptoms of cholera
    could appear rather quickly as a biological weapon. Cholera
    causes severe dehydration that quickly can lead to shock and
    even death in mere hours if left untreated.

How to prevent dying of cholera:
Cholera can be endemic, epidemic, or a pandemic:

  • Endemic (geographic location). A reservoir can be the
    source of an endemic case of cholera. Endemic is the spread
    of a disease in a certain area or found among a certain
    people. An endemic is when the number of cases of the
    disease in a particular area exceeds what's expected.

  • Epidemic: An epidemic of cholera can be traced to a water
    pump handle of a community water source. An epidemic is
    the spread of an infectious disease at a particular time in a

  • Pandemic (global): A pandemic is a global problem and
    cholera spread from 1961-1991 affecting five continents of

Back in the day, as with the movie,
Love in the Time of Cholera,
upon doctors orders you would raise the yellow flag of cholera, to
inform neighbors of the deadly disease lurking in your home.

Ways to prevent Cholera
With cholera today you have an avenue of control. If you are
mindful during an outbreak you can avoid it altogether. Below are
some critical ways to prevent cholera from affecting you and your
loved ones:

  • Wash hands. Hand washing is critical in preventing the
    spread of cholera. Unwashed hands spread cholera from
    person to person. From fingers to food the germs can spread
    quickly to sicken masses of people.

  • Filter and boil water. Water filters. Water that's boiled or
    treated with chlorine or iodine is safe to drink. Avoid ice!

  • Uncooked foods. During an outbreak, you must not only
    wash hands and used filtered water, but cook all foods. Do
    not eat anything raw. Avoid seafood. Peel fruits and
    vegetables. It's the same procedure for dealing with

  • Brush teeth only with safe water. Bottled water is safe,
    and if that's not available to brush your teeth use water
    you've boiled for at least a minute.

  • Bury poop. Set up a prepper toilet for sanitation if
    emergency has you living off grid, and ensure you do not
    defecate in or around a body of water.

  • Stay away from antacids. If you're taking antacids, you are
    contributing to a lowered acidity. Your stomach is an acid
    barrier to bacteria. The Vibrio cholerae bacterium is sensitive
    to low gastric acidity, so keep your stomach as acidic as

  • Beware of grains. Rice and millet are grains often
    contaminated after cooking, so throw away any leftovers. If
    these grains remain at room temperature for several hours
    they can grow the cholera bacteria.

  • Protect food and food surfaces from flies. The flies will
    spread cholera through their feet. Use fly covers to help keep
    your food protected. Flies spread cholera as well as E.Coli
    and Salmonella, and typhoid.

  • Use bleach to clean food surfaces. Bleach is effective at
    helping you combat cholera.

Bleach can help battle cholera!
On the Oregon trail pioneers didn't die of attacks from Native
Americans, they died of Cholera. "Chlorination and boiling are
often the least expensive and most effective means of halting
transmission" of cholera says the Centers for Disease Control

Know the symptoms of Cholera
The incubation period is 12-hours to 4-1/2 days, which is rather
sudden by comparison with other kinds of disease. The diarrhea
of a cholera victim will look like grey water and it will come on
rather quickly and violently along with vomiting and also possible
muscle cramps. Cholera attacks the digestive track with
cholerage, a protein that attacks the gut leaving victims severely
dehydrated. As the disease progresses, the cholera patient may
show sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and
wrinkling of hands and feet. Ultimately, the dehydration may
result in the skin turning a deadly bluish hue.

If there's an outbreak, you can make a hydration solution to help
nurse patients back to health or to get good running start to
protect the body in case it's already running through your system.
Rapid rehydration is the most important factor in saving a life!

  • Make your own oral hydration solution: Help treat the
    cholera patient, by administering special fluids. To make
    your own oral hydration solution, use safe water, which is
    water that's been both filtered and boiled. Mix this safe
    water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt with six teaspoons of sugar
    in a liter of water. (One liter = 4 8-ounce glasses).

Poor sanitation is a major risk factor.
Thankfully modern sewage treatment systems in the United
States have helped eliminate cholera as an everyday threat;
however, cholera is a very real threat to developing nations world
wide with poor sanitation or a fragile system of sanitation. The
people of Yemen in July 2017 have suffered deaths numbering the

With knowledge, you can help prevent cholera in your community
in a large scale disaster, such as an electromagnetic pulse EMP or
a severe earthquake.

In Haiti poor sanitation conditions quickly spread cholera, likely
from aid workers who brought the disease. The same could
happen if the world comes together to help your community.

What is North Korea Planning?
Could anthrax, botulism, cholera, smallpox, or the plague be
carried out by missiles, a bomb or a plane-sprayer? You never
know what North Korea is planning. Learn about these diseases,
bioterrorism and prepare for an attack from North Korea.

The South Korean Defense Ministry says that North Korea has 13
types of biological weapons which it can weaponize.

Happy endings...
Like they say, knowledge weighs nothing ~ and now you know a
little more about cholera. Now you can help! Rapid rehydration is
the most important factor in saving lives from cholera along with
education about how to prevent, such as washing hands.

Finally, if you suspect someone has cholera, seek medical
treatment immediately if possible if it's available. Dehydration is
a medical emergency!

Cholera in Haiti
In 2010 a deadly cholera epidemic spread across Haiti's capital,
Port-au-Prince. This large-scale cholera outbreak was the first in
modern times. The outbreak followed the devastating
They keys to recovery from cholera are cleanliness and IV
treatment. Below is more about how the volunteers helped to
deal with the problem.
------------------------------------------------- Revised 09/11/18
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Above, the cholera outbreak killed thousands of people and continues to
sicken people years later.

Zambia Cholera Outbreaks
Without an emergency plan for cholera violence can quickly erupt.
A case in point is the
Zambia Outbreaks of January 2018, where
violence began following the government's curfew policies and
street vending restrictions. People in the slums didn't like the
regulations, though they were set up to protect them.

Happy endings...
The danger of Cholera is that it spreads extremely rapidly and can
kill within hours if left untreated. The good news about cholera is
that as fast as it comes on ~ the body can also quickly recover!
Treatment of cholera is relatively easy: oral hydration solutions
and antibiotics in part provide the answer ~ the other part is

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