With sporadic rains hitting the Capital this year, the number of cholera cases is also rising. So far, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has registered 374 cases from all over Delhi.
"The situation is not as bad as last year. By this time last year, 1091 cases had been registered with us, which definitely called for worry," says Dr NK Yadav, Medical Health Officer (MHO), MCD. Last year, the all-India figures were 1214.
According to Dr Yadav, the situation is under control this season. Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Transmission to humans occurs through contaminated water or food.
The major reservoir for cholera was long assumed to be humans themselves, but considerable evidence exists that aquatic environments can serve as reservoirs of the bacteria.
"Cholera is like any other water-borne disease—it calls for drinking safe and purified drinking water. Especially in this season, one should keep away from cut fruits sold on the road sides as infection starts right there," says Dr Bir Singh, professor at community medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
Dr Singh advises that people should stick to home cooked food and boiled water. Even when eating fruits at home, one should wash them several times before consuming them.
"Just incase someone has diarrohea, he should drink a potion of homemade oral dehydrants to become stable. If the condition persists, it is best to consult a doctor," he said.
The potion is easy to make: one level teaspoon salt, eight level teaspoons sugar, a pinch of soda bicarbonate (baking powder), hint of lemon, all mixed in safe drinking water.