More people in hospital with cholera in fresh outbreak

Five security personnel from Multimedia University are among those admitted to hospital with cholera symptoms, as the number rose to at least 92 following a fresh outbreak.

In the wake of the outbreak, the Nairobi County government has closed down Nairobi Area police canteen after 83 officers out of 430 residing at the Multimedia University Hotel got sick after eating there.

It is suspected that the canteen is the source of the contaminated food.

MEDICAL TESTS
The officers were drawn from various parts of the country for deployment ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on last Friday.

On Monday, the number of those with the symptoms rose by more than 30 and were admitted to various hospitals in Kajiado County.

Speaking at Sinai Hospital, where 47 police officers were admitted, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu said the officers ate food suspected to have been carrying the cholera virus.

“Most of them are police officers who were living in Multimedia University and carrying out duties in Nairobi.

“Rapid tests have actually confirmed that we are dealing with cases of cholera but more tests are being undertaken at the national public laboratories,” Dr Mailu said.

SANITATION
He attributed the cholera outbreak to poor hygiene and food handling and suspected that the canteen had outsourced the food taken by the officers.

An officer who sought anonymity said: “This thing started from the canteen. I wish you visit the place; the sewer is burst and effluent is deposited near the kitchen.”

Two Murang’a police officers said to have been part of the group have also been admitted to different hospitals with similar symptoms.

Murang’a East police boss Johnstone Limo said the two had also been deployed to the Supreme Court in Nairobi but were taken ill while on duty.

NYS OFFICERS

The police boss said he suspected the two could have been infected while in Nairobi.

“The two officers from Kandara and Kahuro sub-counties are being admitted at Githumu hospital and Murang’a General Referral Hospital,” he said, adding that the officers were in stable condition.

Meanwhile, at least 20 National Youth Service (NYS) officers in Tana River County have admitted to Bura sub-county hospital with cholera.

“A total of 21 cholera cases have been reported in the county including 20 officers from Bura NYS camp,” County Director of Public Health Oscar Endekwa said.

AWARENESS
Speaking to the Nation at his office in Hola, Dr Endekwa said the situation at the NYS camp was under control.

“The officers are responding well to treatment. The other case is of a resident and he has been placed under treatment,” he said.

He said the symptoms were noted on August 30, although they had not been confirmed.

Dr Endekwa said health officials were investigating the cause of the disease.

“We have isolated the victims and we are sensitising the residents on hygiene and sanitation. We are trying to combat it before it spreads to a larger population,” the official said.

Additional reporting by Ndung’u Gachane and Stephen Oduor

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