One dead, 112 in hospital as cholera breaks out in Tharaka-Nithi

Monday January 1 2018

Chuka County Referral Hospital

Chuka County Referral Hospital in Tharaka-Nithi County where five cholera patients are admitted. One has died and 112 admitted to various hospitals with cholera symptoms. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ALEX NJERU
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One person has died while 112 have been admitted to various hospitals in Tharaka-Nithi County in what is feared to be a cholera outbreak.

Confirming the outbreak on Monday, Tharaka-Nithi County Health Executive Gichuia Nthuraku said the patients have symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.

Dr Nthuraku said one person was confirmed dead on arrival at Magutuni Sub-County Hospital.

He said five others admitted to various hospitals have been confirmed to be suffering from cholera adding that they had taken more specimens to a laboratory in Nairobi for further screening.

“Patients are showing symptoms of cholera and we are [doing our best] to contain it,” said Dr Gichua.

The official said that on Sunday he led a team of county health officials to Magutuni, Kamonka, Chuka and Mutino where the outbreak has been reported and addressed the residents on the precautions they need to take.

DRINK BOILED WATER

He asked locals to exclusively use toilets and latrines and drink boiled water to curb the spread of the disease which is mostly transmitted through consuming contaminated foods and drinks.

“We are discouraging public gatherings especially during this Christmas and New Year festive season,” he said.

Mr Mugambi Gitonga

Mr Mugambi Gitonga, Red Cross Central and Eastern regions coordinator. He has sent 15 health personnel to help fight the cholera outbreak in Tharaka-Nithi County. PHOTO | ALEX NJERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Red Cross Central Kenya and Eastern regions coordinator Mugambi Gitonga told Nation on Monday that a team of 15 health personnel who have been fighting cholera in Nairobi County were heading to Tharaka-Nithi following the latest outbreak.

RED CROSS

He said Red Cross had recorded 50 patients in St Orsola Mission Hospital, 25 in Tharaka Sub-County Hospital, 20 in Magutuni Sub-County Hospital, 12 in Ishiara Sub-County Hospital in neighbouring Embu county and five in Chuka County Referral Hospital.

He added that some of the patients had been treated and discharged.

Mr Gitonga said the Red Cross will establish five cholera treatment centres in the affected villages in order to avoid movement of patients.

“We want patients to be treated in their villages to avoid spread during transportation to various hospitals,” said Mr Gitonga.

He added that they will provide drugs and disinfectants that will be used to spray homesteads where cholera cases have been reported.