The Karen Cholera outbreak escalates to National level

After three people died in Nairobi as a result of the Karen Cholera outbreak, there have been more deaths reported in the counties of Vihiga (from where the carrier of the Karen outbreak came), Murang’a, and Kiambu. As a result, the government has now put in place a national outbreak management and rapid response team to help mitigate the spread of the disease.

“The country has been having a cholera outbreak since early May, with the first two cases reported in Mathare area, Nairobi. Later, the outbreak was reported in other areas of the country. As a response to the outbreak, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with County governments and various partners have taken measures to ensure public safety,” said Director of Medical Services, Dr Jackson Kioko.

The national cholera outbreak is still linked with the Karen outbreak, whose spread is said to have been helped by the an outsourced catering service. The female caterer who attended to the Karen wedding from where the outbreak originated is still at large, with the police still trying to find her whereabouts.

Cholera is a serious infection that causes watery diarrhea, vomiting,  and muscle pain. If not treated, the disease caused by some strains of Vibrio cholerae can cause death within two hours after infection – although in most cases it takes two to five days before the first symptom of infection show.

The best way to keep safe is by ensuring that your drinking water is well treated specifically through boiling. According to Bernard Muia, Nairobi County health Executive, infection by Cholera is equivalent to an intake of human fecal matter in its raw form, as the dosage of the bacteria to case an infection is in the order of 100 million bacteria. Right now that almost everyone is equally at risk, affluent or not, it is important for you not to consume any foods and water that you are not sure of its hygienic handling.

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Odipo Riaga
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