Health officials in Embu County are on high alert after three new cholera cases were reported on Monday in three villages in Mbeere South.
The new cases brings the number of cholera infections in the county to 53 in the past one and a half months. Three people have died from the disease.
County Director of Health Stephen Kaniaru said the three patients come from Rwika, Kabuguri and Nganduri villages, which mainly rely on water from River Thiba.
They could have contracted the disease after eating in hotels with low hygienic standards, he added.
The official said the three – a 70-year-old grandmother, a 14-year-old girl, and a 36-year-old man – are receiving medical attention at cholera treatment centres in Kiritiri, Ganduri and Embu Level 5 Hospital.
Dr Kaniaru said they have closed eight eateries and four butcheries in Rwika, and six eateries and five butcheries in Nganduri, which did not meet sanitation standards.
He said strict rules on food hawking, outside catering and eating in social places is still on so as to reduce the infections.
“The three admitted to eating food from hotels whose hygiene standards are questionable. This has made us change tack, since we emphasised more on improving personal hygiene in the past few weeks,” he said.
Dr Kaniaru said the county water sources had been contaminated, thus contributing to the increased cases of cholera.
He said results from tests done by the government chemist and water management authority established that water sources had faecal matter.
“We are now sensitising people on the need to drink safe water as well as eat from clean eateries. We are still on high alert and doing a lot to stem out the disease,” he said.