As Christmas celebrations commence characterized by feasting, the County Government of Nyeri has issued a cholera outbreak alert following reported cases of the epidemic in the neighboring Kirinyaga County.
County Director of Health Services Dr. Nelson Muriu said due to the close proximity and frequent interaction among local residents and those Kirinyaga County, where three cases have been reported, there was increased danger of cross-border transmission.
In press statement issued to the media Tuesday evening, Dr. Muriu said there was a high probability of an outbreak of the deadly bacterial disease in the area if necessary precautionary measures were not taken.
As a result, the Director announced a raft of measures that must be adopted forthwith including a ban of food hawking, as she cautioned residents to avoid roadside eateries as well as maintain a high levels of hygiene.
She further directed that all food outlets should be re-inspected to ensure conformity with Public Health Act especially with regard to sanitation.
Health personnel in all facilities have also been put on high alert and asked to heighten public health surveillance activities in order to promptly identify and attend to any suspected case(s).
“Any suspected cholera case must be reported to the office of the County Director of Health Services for further investigations and immediate response,” Dr. Muriu said.
Residents have also been encouraged to observe preventive measures, including proper hand washing with clean water and soap after visiting a latrine and before handling or eating food.
Others measures include, proper disposal of human waste, keeping cooked food covered to avoid contamination by flies as well as keeping the environment clean as cholera bacteria thrives in areas with poor sanitation.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection characterized by sudden onset of profuse watery diarrhoea with an average incubation period of two to three days.
If not promptly and adequately treated, patients can die within hours as a result of severe dehydration occasioned by loss of huge amount of fluids and salts in the body.
By Samuel Waititu