"This is a clear indication of both compliance with instructions and the sustainability of the method, but it also shows the need for continuing education in the appropriate use and benefits of simple filtration," says Colwell.
The researchers also looked at the incidence of cholera in households during the 5-year follow-up period. While not statistically significant, they found the incidence of hospitalizations for cholera during that period reduced by 25 percent.
"With the lower rate of filtration in this follow-up study, it is not surprising that the observed reduction in disease rate was not as high as the 48 percent observed in the original trial, suggesting that active reinforcement would have been effective in ensuring higher protection," says Colwell.
They also found an indirect benefit. Households that did not filter their water but were located in neighborhoods where water filtration was regularly practiced by others also had a lower incidence of cholera.
"Results of the study showed that the practice of filtration not only was accepted and sustained by the villagers but also benefited those who filtered their water, as well as neighbors not filtering water for household use, in reducing the incidence of cholera," says Colwell.
|Contact: Jim Sliwa|
American Society for Microbiology