21 people test positive for cholera in Embu County

Sunday October 29 2017

Cholera

Cholera patients at the Kenyatta National Hospital on July 19 2017. This year has seen a surge in cholera cases across the country and the latest county to be affected is Embu where 21 people have been admitted with symptoms. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By CHARLES WANYORO

Twenty one people, among them a KCPE candidate are admitted to various hospitals in Embu County after they exhibited cholera-like symptoms.

According to Dr Jamleck Muturi, the County Health executive, the first cases were reported in Grogon slums in Manyatta and Kanduri village in Runyenjes, before other cases were detected in Mbeere South.

He said the patients, who developed severe diarrhoea and vomiting, tested positive to the disease after undergoing rapid diagnostic tests.

Dr Muturi added that 11 patients were recuperating at Embu Level Five Hospital while others were admitted to Kiritiri and Runyenjes Level Four hospitals where they were in isolation.

FOOD HAWKING

Speaking to the press, Dr Muturi said medics were working round the clock to stabilise the KCPE candidate ahead of the examinations which kick off on Tuesday.

The health executive said eight other patients were treated and discharged on Saturday evening.

Following the outbreak, Embu County government has banned food hawking and mass feeding at burials, weddings and other social gatherings throughout the county.

“Starting today, we will deploy health officials to check on the hygiene status of hotels and those found wanting will be closed. This is meant to curb the spread of the disease. Those who had planned to hold weddings must get authorisation from public health officers if they have to serve food to guests,” Dr Muturi said.

The health executive said they suspect 60 percent of the contamination is from untreated water sources since most of the patients had not travelled outside the county.

WATER CONTAMINATION

“None of the patients had been to a different county before they got sick. We suspect the flash floods caused the contamination. Some victims drank untreated water from irrigation projects,” he said.

Dr Muturi said they had embarked on campaign to sensitise households which use water from rivers to boil it.

He also urged those exhibiting cholera symptoms to visit the nearest hospitals. The county is also offering free aqua tabs to residents to treat their water.

At the same time, public health officials have sterilised the homes of the patients.