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Seven hospitalised in suspected cholera outbreak in Lamu

Seven people in Lamu have been hospitalised in a suspected outbreak of cholera.

The patients from Pandanguo village in Witu showed cholera-like symptoms.

County Health Executive Mohamed Kombo said the seven were rushed and admitted at the Pandanguo Dispensary and Witu Hospital after complaining of stomach pains, diarrhoea and vomiting.

According to Dr Kombo, the drought ravaging many parts of Lamu County has left people and animals to depend on one source of water.

Dr Kombo said the victims might have drunk contaminated water that has resulted to the complications.

 He said many remaining water points in Lamu have been highly contaminated and called on locals to take precautionary measures.

“It is true. We have received reports of about seven residents at Pandanguo who are suffering from abdominal pains, diarrhea and vomiting. We have not yet confirmed whether the condition is cholera but I suspect it is abdominal infection caused by people consuming highly concentrated water due to the ravaging drought,” said Dr Kombo.

He said a team from the health department was on the ground to contain the situation.

Due to the drought situation that has hit most parts of Lamu since mid 2016, residents have had to share the scarce water sources with livestock and wild animals, leading to high rate of contamination.

Dr Kombo said his office was working around the clock to ensure the ailment does not spread to other villages.

“We are worried the situation might spread to villages affected by drought. There is water shortage and people are forced to share water with animals. We believe the sharing has led to contamination of water but we are working hard to ensure the outbreak doesn’t spread,” said Dr Kombo.

Blood and stool samples from the infected people have been sent to the government chemist in Mombasa to establish the illness.

Pandanguo village elder Adan Golja called for immediate intervention to curb the situation since it is getting worse daily.

Those infected are adults and children.

Pandanguo village which is home to the Boni minority community is among the villages hardest hit by the ongoing drought.

Last year, two people among them a five-year old child and an adult from Kipini border of Lamu and Tana River Counties died from cholera.

Thirteen other people were referred to the Witu Dispensary after exhibiting the cholera symptoms which were also suspected to have been caused by contaminated water.

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