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Another cholera case reported in Narok 

The  Narok Referral Hospital where the suspected cholera patient is recuperating on  Tuesday  July  18, 2017. Photo Mabel  Keya - Shikuku/KNA.

Medical personnel in Narok are on high alert after a suspected case of cholera was reported in Narok town on Tuesday.

Speaking to KNA, the Narok North Sub County Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sarah Okebe said a male child of about 10 years has been admitted at the Narok Referral Hospital yesterday with symptoms similar to those of cholera.

Okebe said the patient was now in stable after the patient was been started off on anti-biotics and medical personnel are now working round the clock to avert any possible outbreak of the disease.

Dr. (Mrs.) Okebe said a quick cholera test known as rapid test on the specimens from the patient have tested positive of the epidemic and awaiting official confirmation from the other specimens which has sent to the national public health laboratory in Nairobi.

She said health personnel have increased surveillance and have conducted active case search and traced all those who had come in contact with the patient put them on medication to avoid an outbreak and have also disinfected all premises where the patient came form in Majengo estate.

Dr. Osebe said the cause of the outbreak will be established through investigations as it could be a case of water or food contamination. This is the second suspected case of cholera the town in a space of two weeks.

The medic also disputed reports circulating in the social media to the effect that several children from Majengo estate in Narok town had been hospitalized with symptoms similar to those of cholera, saying only one case has been reported.

Late last month, a female patient was been admitted at the Narok Referral Hospital with symptoms similar to those of cholera.

This earlier patient is among guests who had attended a conference at a Nairobi Hotel last week where several guests were taken ill after taking a meal and were rushed to various hospitals in Nairobi. Most of the cases have been confirmed to be Cholera which allegedly emanated from a meal of fish which the guests had taken at the Hotel.

A few days ago, score of people, including two cabinet secretaries who were attending a trade fare at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi were rushed to Hospital after consuming a mea ta the event. Some of the cases were confirmed to be cholera.

The country has been having a Cholera outbreak since early May 2017, where the first two cases were reported in Mathare area in Nairobi. A report from the ministry of health says later, the outbreak was reported in other areas of the country. In total more than 200 cases including 4 deaths had been reported as at 21st May 2017.

Garissa County has so far reported 88 cases, Nairobi 29 cases with 1 death, Vihiga (15 cases with 2 deaths), Mombasa (2 cases), Murang’a (11 cases with 1 death) and Kiambu (1 case). Some of the cases reported in Nairobi, Mombasa and Vihiga are associated with a wedding held in Karen, Nairobi.

Narok seems to be joining this list of affected counties soon if the current case is officially confirmed.

The medic said all precautionary measures are being taken to avoid the spread outbreak of the diseases 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.

Dr. Osebe has advised the residents to observe high level hygiene by washing their hands after visiting a washroom, before preparing and eating food.

She said cholera patients loss excessive water leading to death within three to four hours of infection if not treated quickly, urging  the residents to always use toilets to dispose all faeces and ensure the toilets they use are clean to avoid the disease.

“It’s also important to ensure all drinking water is boiled and food thoroughly washed before cooking,” Osebe said.

Dr. Osebe also said the health personnel have stepped up surveillance and will also carry out health campaigns to educate the public about cholera.

Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, vomiting and 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.

In 2015, the disease killed more than 15 people in Nairobi while other parts of the country, Narok included were affected too. This was attributed to the ten El Nino weather phenomenon where several parts of the country flooded leading to contamination of water sources.

By  Mabel  Keya –Shikuku

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