8 cholera cases recorded countrywide

via 8 cholera cases recorded countrywide | The Herald March 5, 2015

Eight cholera cases have been reported in Beitbridge, Mudzi and Chiredzi, while another case is being investigated in Chirundu. In Beitbridge, the Civil Protection Unit yesterday said it had, however, managed to contain the outbreak, which saw two children aged five and 10 being quarantined at Beitbridge District Hospital on Tuesday morning.

Of the eight reported cases, five were recorded in Mudzi, a border area near Mozambique, two in Beitbridge as well as the Chirundu case which is under investigations.

The disease has so far killed at least 41 people in Mozambique.

The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, called on the nation to be vigilant to prevent the spread of the disease.

Minister Cde Parirenyatwa said cholera thrived well in poor sanitation hence the need for Zimbabweans to improve hygiene in their day-to-day lives.

“We are in the rainy season, Zimbabweans have to improve on their sanitation and cholera is also being passed through boarders. Areas that are affected are Mudzi, Chirundu and Chipinge,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.

The Civil Protection Unit FOR Beitbridge, Mr Simon Muleya, who is also the District Administrator, said the two who were hit by cholera in the border town were in a stable condition.

“The situation is now under control and there is no need for people to panic.

“The two victims are from the same family and according to our rapid response team there are no other cases from the same village.

“We will continue monitoring the system and our sensitisation teams are out in the district,” he said.

Mr Muleya said the two children were still at the Cholera Isolation centre at the hospital and would soon be discharged since their condition had improved.

The DA called on people to always boil water for domestic use and thoroughly clean fruits and vegetables and wash their hands before eating and after using toilets.

In 2008, Beitbridge District contributed 26 percent of the reported cholera cases which started in Chitungwiza on August 27 of the same year.

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated.

It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called vibrio cholerae.

The signs and symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection. Often, symptoms are mild but sometimes they are very serious.

In most cases people infected have severe watery diarrhoea accompanied by vomiting, which can quickly lead to dehydration. Although many infected people may have minimal or no symptoms, they can still contribute to the spread of the infection.

If not treated, dehydration can lead to shock and death in a matter of hours. Cholera cases surface mostly during the rainy season due to poor sanitation and dirty wet conditions.

The worst cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe was recorded in 2008 when an outbreak in Harare’s Budiriro left hundreds dead.