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A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL OF HOUSEHOLD-BASED FLOCCULANT-DISINFECTANT DRINKING WATER TREATMENT FOR DIARRHEA PREVENTION IN RURAL GUATEMALA

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  • 1 Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Medical Entomology Research and Training Unit, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ohio

We conducted a study to determine if use of a new flocculant-disinfectant home water treatment reduced diarrhea. We randomly assigned 492 rural Guatemalan households to five different water treatment groups: flocculant-disinfectant, flocculant-disinfectant plus a customized vessel, bleach, bleach plus a vessel, and control. During one year of observation, residents of control households had 4.31 episodes of diarrhea per 100 person-weeks, whereas the incidence of diarrhea was 24% lower among residents of households receiving flocculant-disinfectant, 29% lower among those receiving flocculant-disinfectant plus vessel, 25% lower among those receiving bleach, and 12% lower among households receiving bleach plus vessel. In unannounced evaluations of home drinking water, free chlorine was detected in samples from 27% of flocculant-disinfectant households, 35% of flocculant-disinfectant plus vessel households, 35% of bleach households, and 43% of bleach plus vessel households. In a setting where diarrhea was a leading cause of death, intermittent use of home water treatment with flocculant-disinfectant decreased the incidence of diarrhea.

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