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Global Health
October 16, 2013

Treating Water With Chlorine Does Not Reduce Diarrhea Cases

JAMA. 2013;310(15):1551. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280604

Treating water with chlorine tablets had no effect on reducing cases of diarrhea in children younger than 5 years in a state in southeast India, report investigators from the United Kingdom and India (Boisson S et al. PLoS Med. 2013;10[8]:e1001497).

In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial carried out in rural and urban communities of Orissa, India, where inhabitants do not have public water or sewers, 2163 households were randomized to receive the intervention, consisting of sodium dichloroisocyanurate tablets, or placebo tablets. Trained field workers visited households every month between November 2010 and December 2011 to determine cases of diarrhea among the almost 3000 children younger than 5 years in these households and to assess the families’ adherence to the program. The prevalence of diarrhea in the control group was similar to that in the intervention group.