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Ministry confirms 61 cases of Cholera in six Counties

Health & Science
 Director-General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth. [File, Standard]

The ministry of Health has put County Governments on high alert after 61 cases of Cholera were confirmed across six counties as of this evening.

The Director-General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth has warned that the outbreak might worsen as a result of the ongoing drought situation in various parts of the country.

“Noteworthy, the ongoing drought situation in the country may worsen the outbreak; it is therefore the Ministry's decision to put all counties on high alert for possible cholera outbreaks,” Amoth said.

In a circular to all health officials dated October 19, Amoth has disclosed that 13 patients were hospitalized as of last evening, eight had been discharged while 40 others were treated as outpatients.

Kiambu County tops the list with 31 cases, followed closely by the capital city Nairobi with 17 cases, Uasin Gishu 8, Kajiado 2, Nakuru 2 and Murang'a 1 case recorded so far.

“The Ministry of Health has confirmed a cholera outbreak in six counties namely; Kiambu (31), Nairobi (17), Murang'a (1), Kajiado (2), Nakuru (2) and Uasin Gishu (8) following a wedding festival that was held in Kiambu County,” Amoth’s statement reads in part.

According to Amoth, a team of experts from the Division of Disease Surveillance and Response (DDSR), Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Program (FELTP) and the County Departments of Health had been sent to the affected counties to spearhead response activities.

“The team will conduct field investigations, enhanced surveillance, laboratory testing, case management, risk communication, community engagement and environmental sanitation to prevent further spread of the disease and manage the outbreak,” he added.

In his communication to the health workers, Amoth has directed them to search for missed or unreported cases, strengthen surveillance in remote areas as well as Improve laboratory capacity for specimen collection and shipment

The ministry’s communication came barely a day after two people were admitted to hospital in critical condition following a Cholera outbreak in Kiambu County.

The two were said to be among 15 people who were rushed to various hospitals after showing symptoms of Cholera. Previous reports indicated that the group had shared a meal at a wedding in Limuru.

The food eaten at the event was suspected to have been ferried from Nairobi to the wedding venue by a catering company.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholerae bacteria.

Symptoms in the early stages of infection include profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes, low blood pressure, thirst, muscle cramps and restlessness or irritability.

The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening. People with low immunity are at a greater risk of death if infected.

“Cholera is an extremely virulent disease. It affects both children and adults and can kill within hours,” Ministry of Health has warned.

Cholera is an easily treatable disease. Up to 80 per cent of people can be treated successfully through prompt administration of oral rehydration salts.

Severely dehydrated patients require administration of intravenous 

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