A cholera outbreak has been reported in Kilifi County with eight cases under watch.
Kilifi town and its environs have been put on high alert following the outbreak at Kiwandani Village.
This was after five people who came into contact with a child who died as a result of acute diarrhoea and vomiting on August 14 tested positive of vibrio cholera, a bacterium that causes cholera.
Three more cases were reported on Wednesday at the same village, according to Kilifi County Director of Health Bilali Mazoya.
Two of the three patients were treated and discharged and the third one was admitted.
Dr Mazoya on Thursday said a similar they had put all medical facilities in the seven sub-counties of Kilifi on high alert.
Hospitals and dispensaries have been asked to watch out for cholera symptoms and educate patients on measures to stop the spread of the disease.
Dr Mazoya said a team of public health officers had been dispatched to treat the five patients at Kiwandani Village and keep watch on the disease.
“We have set up a Cholera treatment centre at Kiwandani Dispensary to manage the identified cases and any other subsequent cases from the locality,” he said.
Dr Mazoya said the five-year-old child who died as a result of acute diarrhoea and vomiting did not test positive for cholera.
“The child had been admitted to a private health institution but soon after the death, five of the family members who came into contact with the child later tested positive of cholera and admitted to the Kiwandani Dispensary,” said Dr Mazoya
Dr Mazoya said a circular had been issued to all food vendors in the town “on what we expect them to do.”
“If they don’t fulfill our health requirements concerning the current situation then their food joints shall be closed down.
“What we are looking at the moment is the health and safety of the people so if food vendors defy our orders then we shall close them,” he said.
Officer in charge of diseases in the county Eric Maitha said more than 800 community members had been sensitised on hygiene by community health volunteers.
“We have also distributed 960 bottles of Water Guard and 900 cholera facts sheets to the households in the region.
Mr Maitha that 350 households had been dusted with ciprofloxacin and doxycycline.
“We are also working with other health actors, including water department, private practitioners and other stakeholders, to contain the situation,” Mr Maitha said.
Officer in charge of communicable diseases in Kilifi Richmond Dingi said they had started sensitising locals on the importance of sinking pit latrines and toilets.
“We want the locals to take the digging of pit latrines with uttermost importance since that will assist in the prevention and spread of the disease,” he said.
The outbreak in Kilifi comes after the disease ravaged Nairobi, Nakuru and Kisumu counties.