has the Safe Water System been used?
ward at a hospital
project to determine whether the SWS could prevent bacterial contamination of
bulk oral rehydration solution
safe water storage vessel
available commercial bleach
for hospital staff on use of the Safe Water System
of Project Evaluations
rehydration solution (ORS) is lifesaving therapy for cholera and pediatric diarrhea.
During a cholera epidemic in Guinea-Bissau, the microbiologic
quality of ORS prepared in buckets at a hospital was evaluated and a simple intervention
using special vessels for disinfecting tap water with bleach and for preparing,
storing, and dispensing ORS was tested. Few coliform bacteria and Escherichia
coli were recovered from tap water; however, pre-intervention ORS contained
numerous bacteria including E. coli and toxigenic Vibrio cholerae
O1. In contrast, ORS samples from intervention vessels had few or no coliform
bacteria, no E. coli, and no V. cholerae. Mean pre-intervention
counts of coliform bacteria (3.4 X 107 colony-forming units [cfu]/100 ml) and
E. coli (6.2 X 103 cfu) decreased
during the intervention period to 3.6 X 102 cfu and 0 cfu, respectively (P<0.001).
This simple system using bleach disinfectant and special storage vessels prevents
bacterial contamination of ORS and reduces the risk of nosocomial transmission
of cholera and other enteric pathogens.