Oral rehydration solution (ORS): Cholera treatment.

ORS preparation

Oral rehydration solution (ORS) is a simple yet powerful solution of water, sugar, and electrolytes. It is used to prevent and treat dehydration. It replenishes fluids and salts lost due to diarrhea and vomiting.

When to Take ORS:

Take ORS at the first signs of dehydration, particularly during cholera outbreaks. Here are some situations where ORS is your friend:

  • Diarrhea and Vomiting: If you experience frequent watery stools and vomiting, ORS helps replace lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent further dehydration.
  • Children: Children are particularly vulnerable to dehydration. If your child has diarrhea or vomiting, administer ORS frequently in small amounts.
  • Travelers: Visiting areas with high cholera risk? Pack pre-mixed ORS packets for emergencies.

The Signs of Dehydration:

Knowing the signs of dehydration is crucial. If you experience any of the following, start sipping ORS and seek medical attention:

  • Dry Mouth and Tongue: Feeling parched and having a dry, sticky tongue are red flags.
  • Sunken Eyes: Dehydration can cause your eyes to appear sunken and lose their luster.
  • Decreased Urination: Not urinating frequently or having dark-colored urine indicates insufficient fluids in your body.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: Feeling faint or dizzy can be a sign of dehydration affecting your blood pressure.

Making Your Own Oral rehydration solution:

While pre-mixed ORS packets are readily available, here’s how to make a homemade solution in an emergency:

  1. Gather your ingredients:
    • 1 liter of clean, boiled water (cooled)
    • 6 level teaspoons of sugar
    • ½ level teaspoon of table salt
  2. Mix it Up! Dissolve the sugar and salt completely in the cooled, boiled water.

Taking ORS:

  • Start Small, Sip Often: Don’t chug! Take small sips frequently, especially after watery stools or vomiting.
  • For Children: Use a spoon or syringe to administer ORS to children in small, frequent amounts.
  • Continue with Other Fluids: While ORS is essential, continue drinking water, clear broths, or breast milk (for infants) alongside ORS.


ORS is a powerful tool against dehydration, but it’s not a cure for cholera. If you suspect cholera, administer ORS and seek immediate medical attention. Early intervention is key!