Kenya Confirms Cholera Outbreak in Six Counties
By Tsim Mavisi
Kenya confirms Cholera outbreak in six counties including Kiambu, Nairobi, Muranga, Kajiado, Nakuru and Uasin Gishu where 61 cases have been reported.
In this regard, the Health Ministry has put all counties on high alert, noting that the ongoing drought situation in the country may worsen the outbreak.
So far, the National Public Health Microbiology Laboratory has isolated Vibrio cholera-01-Ogawa as the responsible serotype for the confirmed cases. This is a common strain in Kenya and other African countries.
The Division of Disease Surveillance and Response (DDSR), Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Program (FELTP), and the County departments of health of the affected counties have commenced response activities including field investigations, enhanced surveillance, risk communication, and environmental sanitation to prevent the further spread of the disease and manage the outbreak.
Additionally, the Ministry has urged all county health workers to strengthen surveillance up to the village level and ensure 100% case reporting. It has also called for the involvement of other stakeholders such as county chiefs, water agencies, and other partners in surveillance and advocacy activities. It has called for community sensitization on safe water practices, the use of latrines, and prompt treatment for diarrhea cases. The public has been urged to maintain proper hygiene and practice safe handling of food.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholerae bacteria. Symptoms in the early stages of infection include profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes, low blood pressure, thirst, muscle cramps, and restlessness or irritability.