Rapid evacuation of fluids from the body, which can be caused by cholera
or other diarrheal diseases, may lead to chronic dehydration and eventually death. Oral Rehydration Salts
(ORS - also known as Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT)) are a solution of sugars and salts which helps to slow the evacuation of fluids, allowing for the absorption of electrolytes in the intestines. Though approximately 80 percent of individuals
affected by cholera could be treated successfully using ORS, only about 35 percent of families
in diarrhea-stricken countries utilize the treatment because improvement is not seen immediately.
In countries affected by outbreaks of diarrheal illness, pre-mixed ORS sachets
are frequently distributed to help halt the spread of the bacteria which can spread quickly in areas with poor sanitation or a lack of potable water (clean drinking water). ORS can also be useful for backpackers or climbers who may be affected by diarrheal illness or dehydration due to contaminated water, and pre-mixed sachets are frequently available at outdoor supply stores
. When pre-mixed sachets are not available, an ORS solution can be made easily using common household ingredients.
Please Note: Information and recipes provided here are from The Rehydration Project and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Oral Rehydration Salts should be administered under supervision of an individual with appropriate training whenever possible and clean water MUST ALWAYS be used for all preparations. If you are unsure about the quality of the water you are using, PLEASE BE SURE TO BOIL it before using to help kill off any bacteria that may be present.