Kenya: Cholera Outbreak Kills 216


Kenya’s Ministry of Health has revealed the country’s recent cholera outbreak has killed 216 people.

The two-year outbreak started in 2014 and roughly 13,000 have since been admitted to hospital in that time. The health ministry has also mapped out 12 counties that are currently in a situation of cholera outbreak, while 16 counties are said to have contained the epidemic.


Outbreaks spreading

As the number of deaths and admissions increase from the outbreak, the number of counties reporting new cases of the disease has almost doubled since June last year.

Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri has urged the public to take extra care with hygiene – especially when handling food – but highlighted the added danger that some counties are dealing with the disease for the first time.

“We urge the public to be extra cautious while handling food and to observe high hygienic standards,” he was quoted by Nation.

Dr Muraguri says Wajir, Marsabit, Tharaka Nithi, Tana River, Meru, Busia and Nandi counties are experiencing their first wake of the outbreak. Others have dealt with multiple waves of the disease before the 2014 outbreak began.

“Garissa County is reporting the second wave; Nakuru the third wave, Siaya and Migori the fourth while Nairobi is reporting the fifth wave,” Dr Muraguri also said.


Health officials document cause, symptoms

Health officials are keen to raise public awarenes of the root cause of the outbreak and the symptoms of cholera to help counties contain the disease. Muraguri says the outbreak is largely due to the mushrooming of unhygienic food outlets and government failings to screen food handlers.

The ministry states cholera is defined by more than four episodes of diarrhea in 12 hours. Severe dehydration sets in afterwards, which can be fatal if the disease remains untreated.

A cholera surveillance report by the ministry shows children and the elderly are most at risk. The highest number of cases are being reported among people above 46 years old, followed by those between six and 15. Meanwhile, the lowest number of cases being reported is among people aged 36 and 45.


Featured image: Public domain.