Medical personnel in Narok County are on high alert after over 160 suspected cases of cholera were reported in three sub counties over two weeks ago, killing two people.
Speaking during a multi- sectorial stakeholders` meeting to combat cholera held at Narok Referral Hospital Friday, the County Disease Surveillance Coordinator Mr. Edward Tankoi said so far 162 people have been treated in various health facilities and discharged but are still under watch, while four are still hospitalized.
He said since then, the outbreak has been sporadic in the three sub counties of Narok North, South and East. “The disease has however been contained and visitors to the county have no cause to worry,” he added.
Tankoi said the outbreak was believed to have begun between January 2nd and 9th, 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 county of Kajiado where an outbreak has also been declared.
He said health personnel have increased surveillance and have conducted active case search to trace all those who had come into contact with any of the 160 patients who have been treated of the disease.
Tankoi 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 medical officer said all precautionary measures are being taken to avoid the spread of the diseases in Narok by disinfecting the houses and environment where the patients were 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 County Chief Officer in charge of Public Health Ms. Sahara Ibrahim who chaired the meeting advised the residents to observe high level hygiene to keep the disease off.
She also said the health personnel have stepped up surveillance and will also carry out health campaigns to educate the public about cholera.
In 2015, the disease killed more than 15 people in Nairobi while other parts of the country, Narok included were also affected.
This was due to the El Nino weather phenomenon where several parts of the country flooded leading to contamination of water sources. Since then, the county has had a few other cases of the outbreak of this scourge with no fatalities
By Mabel Keya –Shikuku