Cholera cases increase: Death toll reaches 121
The Ministry of Health has released the latest data regarding the cholera outbreak that has been affecting the country since October 2022.
According to the report, there have been 7,570 reported cases of cholera, with 121 deaths as of March 23. This is an increase of 1,179 cases and 22 deaths from March 7.
The disease has spread to 17 counties in the country, with the highest number of cases in Garissa with 2,163, followed by Mandera with 1,464, Nairobi with 1,196, Tana River with 762, and Wajir with 655 cases.
In the last 10 days, Mandera, Kajiado, and Wajir have had the highest attack rates of 19.4, 8.6, and 7.5 per 100,000 population, respectively.
The ministry has confirmed that the outbreak is currently active in 10 counties and has been controlled in the remaining seven affected counties.
The seven counties where the outbreak has been contained include Homa Bay, Kitui, Meru, Nyeri, Uasin Gishu, and West Pokot.
“The Ministry of Health, counties, and the partners are implementing critical outbreak response interventions in the affected communities,” the report says.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with Vibrio cholerae bacteria. People can get sick when they swallow food or water contaminated with cholera bacteria.
The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe and life-threatening.
Symptoms in infected persons in the early stages include profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity, dry mucous membranes, low blood pressure, thirst, muscle cramps, and restlessness or irritability.
The ministry has urged people to observe basic hygiene practices such as washing hands with soap and clean water, using latrines, and avoiding food and water that may be contaminated.
“The Ministry of Health urges the public to report any cases of acute watery diarrhea to the nearest health facility for early detection and management,” the report says.