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Cholera epidemic kills 5 in Naivasha

NAIVASHA, April 7 – A cholera epidemic has killed five people in Naivasha since Sunday.

The five cases were reported in the northern part of the town, but there were reports of two more cases in the southern area, police and health officials said.

“Among the dead are two minors. We are trying to manage the situation,” said Dr Bota Nyakiba, the Naivasha District Officer in charge of Health.

As a result, Dr Nyakiba said, food hawking had been banned in the district, particularly in the northern part.

Food joints and bars operating in the area were ordered closed on Monday to curb further spread of the disease, as the outbreak was linked to contaminated water supplies and inadequate sanitation.

Medical officials urged residents to avoid consuming contaminated water and food prepared in open grounds.

Reports indicated that up to ten people were admitted to various hospitals in the area.

Cholera outbreaks have been sporadic in various parts of the country, particularly during the rainy season.

Only last month, 39 people died in Western Kenya following an outbreak of the disease.

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Official figures showed that there had been 468 reported Cholera cases, 123 of which tested positive including the 39 fatalities, said Nyanza provincial medical chief Jackson Kioko.

The cases have since dropped, but authorities are still vigilante because the current rains had worsened sanitation in the region.

Officials however fear that recent flash floods that swept away several pit latrines would touch off a new outbreak in the area, notoriously susceptible to the water-borne ailments.

Meanwhile, health experts have warned of a possible disease outbreak in camps housing hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the violence following a disputed December 27 presidential election.

Cholera is a waterborne disease that causes serious diarrhoea and vomiting and can be fatal if not treated within 24 hours.

It can be prevented by washing hands before handling food and avoiding contaminated drinking water.


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