Kenya steps up surveillance as 2 die from cholera outbreak

2017-05-19 21:16:02 GMT2017-05-20 05:16:02(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NAIROBI, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's health authorities have stepped on surveillance on cholera outbreak after two patients succumbed to the fatal water-borne disease on Friday in Vihiga County of Western Kenya.

Vihiga County Health Executive Officer Quido Ahinduka said two other patients were treated and discharged from the county referral hospital at Kaimosi.

"We are on high alert and has directed all health personnel to be on high alert following an outbreak for fear of spreading to other areas," Ahinduka said by telephone.

Ahinduka said that a team of public health officials has been dispatched to the affected areas of Chango and Bugina (where two patients died) to monitor the situation.

The incident comes following an earlier outbreak in Nairobi that has left five people hospitalized in different hospitals.

Nairobi Health Executive Dr. Bernard Muia confirmed that laboratory tests conducted on the victims confirmed that they contracted cholera.

He however said that the disease seem to have been imported from western Kenya by people who were attending a wedding in the city.

He noted that the infected victims are experiencing general body weakness and abdominal pain.

He cautioned residents of city to ensure they drink treated or boiled water to help keep the diseases away.

Cholera is a potentially fatal water-borne disease transmitted through contaminated water and/or food. It causes watery diarrhea and vomiting that can rapidly lead to death through severe dehydration.

Generally the cholera bacteria spreads in places with poor hygiene, where people do not use latrines to dispose off excreta, or do not wash their hands with soap or ash after defecation.