Cholera kills 39 in western Kenya

Cholera kills 39 in western Kenya amid fresh fears: officials

NAIROBI, March 30, 2008 (AFP) – Cholera killed at least 39 people in western Kenya in recent weeks and medical services feared a fresh outbreak, a senior health official said Sunday.

Official figures showed there had been 468 reported Cholera cases, of which 123 tested positive, including the 39 fatalities in the region’s 21 districts, said Nyanza provincial medical chief Jackson Kioko.

The cases had since dropped, but authorities were still vigilante because the current rains had worsened sanitation in the region, he told a local televison station.

But officials 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.

And health experts have warned that possible disease outbreak in camps housing hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the violence spurred by the disputed December 27 presidential elections.

Cholera is a waterborne disease which 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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