Four more cases of cholera have been reported in Narok County throwing the health personnel and other stakeholders into a panic mood.
Speaking during a multi-sectoral stakeholders’ meeting to combat cholera at Narok Referral Hospital on Thursday, the County Director of Health (MOH), Dr. Francis Kiio said two cases were reported in Mosiro area in Narok East along the Narok/Kajiado common border on Monday while two other cases had been reported at Ewaso-Nyiro in Narok South.
This happened just as the county health personnel and stakeholders thought the pandemic had been contained after the single case was reported for about a week.
So far, two people have died from the outbreak and 168 others treated in various health facilities and discharged but were still under watch, while the other four are still hospitalized.
Dr. Kiio directed Medical personnel in Narok County to be on high alert until such time when the pandemic will be fully contained.
An outbreak of cholera was reported in the county about month ago and Dr. Kiio says then, the outbreak had been sporadic in the three sub counties of Narok North, South and East.
Kiio said the outbreak was believed to have begun between January 2 and 9, this year and affected Morintat and Nkasuria villages in Narok South Sub County and Oloototo villages in Narok North Sub County.
It is believed to have been caused by drinking contaminated water and subsequent interaction between the residents of the two mentioned areas and those of the neighbouring Kajiado County where an outbreak had also been declared.
He said health personnel had increased surveillance and conducted active case search to trace all those who had got into contact with any of the 160 patients who have been treated of cholera.
Kiio said a quick cholera test known as rapid test on the specimens from the patients had tested positive of the epidemic and the patients most of whom have now been discharged started off on antibiotics and fluids replacement in their bodies.
The medic said all precautionary measures were being taken to avoid the spread of the outbreak in Narok by disinfecting the house and environment where the patient was living and various places in the hospital and the town.
Cholera is an infectious and often fatal bacterial disease of the small intestine, typically contracted from infected water supplies and causing severe vomiting and diarrhea. It leads to dehydration.
It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms of the disease include; diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps. Severe symptoms include watery diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, dehydration, dry skin and mucous membranes. If untreated, the infection can lead to severe dehydration and death in undernourished persons or those with compromised immune systems. Treatment includes taking an oral rehydration solution to rebalance electrolytes and antibiotics.
The medic advised the residents to observe high level hygiene by washing their hands after visiting a washroom, before preparing and eating food.
Dr. Kiio said cholera patients lose excessive water leading to death within three to four hours of infection if not treated quickly.
He urged the residents to always use toilets to dispose all feaeces and ensure the toilets they use were clean to avoid the disease.
“It is also important to ensure all drinking water is boiled and food thoroughly washed before cooking,” Kiio said.
He added that the health personnel had stepped up surveillance and will also carry out health campaigns to educate the public about cholera.
By Mabel Keya