, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 23 – At least 27 cholera cases have been confirmed following tests conducted on doctors who were attending a conference at a Nairobi hotel.
In a phone interview with Capital FM News Dr Simon King’ondu, a gynecologist who was at the conference said the doctors are admitted to various hospitals for treatment.
“The physician doctors from Nairobi, who should be leading the fight against cholera are admitted in hospitals and being treated for cholera,” said Dr King’ondu.
“It is quiet a disappointment that the Miinistry of Health is denying the outbreak. The rapid diagnostic test, which is more sensitive, shows that it is cholera. Several other doctors have also received positive results.”
Meanwhile the Ministry of Health has strenuously denied that anyone had contracted the disease, with the Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu earlier Friday refuting claims of a cholera outbreak at the Weston Hotel instead saying tests indicated that many of the guests suffered from food poisoning.
“We have carried out 35 tests and almost all turning out negative for the deadly bacterial pathogen. What we are seeing is a case of food poisoning and not otherwise,” emphasised CS Mailu.
“The signs and symptoms do not meet the classical case definition of cholera,” he said.
Mailu said the Ministry’s Department of Disease Surveillance and the National Public Health Laboratories will conduct more tests to confirm the cholera assumption.
Currently 33 doctors have been admitted to various hospitals while displaying cholera-like symptoms.
The search for the source of infection has also been intensified from both patients and the hotel.
“We are looking at those cases, treating retrospectively going backwards to see where it came from.”
Over 500 delegates had converged at the local hotel for a Lung Health Conference.
Last month, the Nairobi County Government issued a cholera alert after five people with symptoms were admitted at after contracting the disease at a wedding in Karen.
The county government has since reactivated six surveillance centers and revealed that symptoms to look out for include diarrhea, vomiting and lack of appetite.