Volume 96, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Household contacts of cholera patients are at a 100 times higher risk of a infection than the general population. To examine risk factors for infections and investigate intervention strategies among this population, we followed household contacts of cholera patients for the 1-week high-risk period after the index patient obtained care. This study was nested within a randomized controlled trial of the Cholera-Hospital-Based-Intervention-for-7-days (CHoBI7), a handwashing with soap and water treatment intervention in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Rectal swab results were available from 320 household contacts of cholera patients at five time points over a 1-week period. Fecal and water samples were analyzed for by bacterial culture. All analyses were stratified by study arm. Within the intervention arm, stored household drinking water with a median free chlorine concentration below 0.5 mg/L was associated with a three times higher odds of a cholera infection (odds ratio [OR]: 3.0; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.32, 6.63). In the control arm, having in stored water was associated with a significantly higher odds of a symptomatic cholera infection (OR: 8.66; 95% CI: 2.11, 35.48). No association was found between observed handwashing with soap at food and stool-related events and infections. Stored household drinking water with detectable and chlorine concentrations below the World Health Organization guideline were found to be important risk factors for cholera infection among household contacts of cholera patients. These findings emphasize the need for water treatment interventions targeting this high risk population.


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  • Received : 04 Nov 2016
  • Accepted : 06 Feb 2017

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