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Mandera on high alert after 188 infected with cholera

Wednesday May 8 2019

A couple with their sick child at Mandera

A couple with their sick child at Mandera County Referral Hospital on May 5, 2016, when several people were admitted following a cholera outbreak. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MANASE OTSIALO
By MANASE OTSIALO
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One person has died while at least 188 have been treated for cholera in Kotulo, Mandera South, in the past month, the county's public health chief officer has said.

The chief officer, Ms Rahama Abdullahi, said the person died due to delayed treatment.

“Since April 6, we have had one death that occurred upon late arrival at the treatment center. We currently have nine patients at the facility but they are all stable," Ms Abdullahi said, adding the situation was under control as various actions had been taken.

“We set up a cholera treatment center with 50 beds. The situation has improved tremendously,” she said, adding water sources were treated, homes disinfected and public sanitation services offered.

“We have treated the two major water sources for the 10 villages at Kotulo and all our officers in other sub-counties are alert."

OTHER MEASURES

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Ms Abdullahi further said the public were being educated on the disease and that fast food kiosks in the area that borders Wajir County had been closed.

“We have also taken steps to avert a possible crisis at three schools in the area,” she said.

To prevent the spread of the disease to other areas, all vehicles passing through Kotulo to Elwak or Wajir were also disinfected.

“We are not taking chances. We have positioned our teams and sent supplies across the county to avert a crisis,” the officer said.

INDEX CASE

According to the chief officer, the index case was of a woman who had travelled from Nairobi, where an outbreak had been declared.

"The situation in Mandera is under control at the moment,” she said. “We are managing the situation with some assistance from Kenya Red Cross at the treatment center."

The society sent volunteers and supplies.

Mandera last experienced a cholera outbreak in 2016, when 1,629 cases and 18 deaths were recorded.

THE DISEASE

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration and death if untreated.

It results from eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called vibrio cholerae, usually found in food or water contaminated by the faeces of an infected person.

The disease is most common in places with poor sanitation, crowding and famine.

Symptoms of cholera manifest as soon as a few hours after infection, or as late as five days after.

Other symptoms include a rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous, low blood pressure, thirst and muscle cramps.