More Suspected Cholera Cases Reported North

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Nine more suspected cholera cases have been reported in the North bringing to 137 the number of infected people in a week.

Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Dr Norbert Foster, yesterday afternoon told New Era that the number of suspected cholera cases increased from 128 on Wednesday to 137 by yesterday morning.

Two deaths have been recorded since the disease broke out last Saturday.
Of the reported cases, eight have been confirmed as cholera and 14 patients are admitted at Engela State Hospital.

Foster says the rise in the number of suspected cholera cases is expected given the water situation in the North.

The ministry together with stakeholders is, however, trying to bring the situation under control by intensifying community awareness on cholera.

Water purification sachets have been distributed to communities but according to Forster, not every community might have been reached as yet.

While water purification remains key to preventing the spread of the disease, Foster says boiling water might not be easy especially among communities in villages that heavily depend on firewood for energy.

Facts About Cholera
Cholera is an acute illness with profuse watery diarrhoea caused by the vibrio cholerae bacteria. It is transmitted through the faeco-oral route mainly by drinking or eating contaminated water or food.

Symptoms
Symptoms of cholera include: –
– Passing a lot of loose watery stools which look like rice water,
– Stools have a fishy smell
– Dehydration and weakness may occur very rapidly.

Prevention
– Immediately report any cases of people showing any of these symptoms;
– Drink boiled water
– Wash hands before preparing food and after using the toilet
– Avoid washing hands from the same bowl at gatherings such as weddings and funerals
– Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating
– Avoid using the bush to relief yourselves or if you do so, ensure that human waste is buried or properly disposed.

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