32 admitted to hospital with suspected cholera symptoms

Mathew Ndung’u, Wangari Njuguna and Oliver Musembi @PeopleDailyKe

Two people from Murang’a county died and more than 32 were hospitalised at the Thika Level Five Hospital after exhibiting symptoms associated with cholera.

By the time of going to press, more patients were still streaming into the facility, which appeared overwhelmed.

The patients complained of  stomach ache, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle cramps and weakness in the limbs.

According to Peter Ng’ang’a Kamau, admitted at the facility,  he started feeling sick on Friday and was rushed to hospital by his relatives yesterday morning when his situation got worse.

Residents we spoke to said there was a possibility of contamination of water from Gathwariga River.

Murang’a County Executive Committee in charge of Health Joseph Mbai said the patients exhibited symptoms similar to those of cholera and the county had set up a crisis centre at Kiunyu Dispensary in Kiunyu village, where tens of locals went for treatment.

He added that they had launched investigations into the cause of the outbreak, adding that residents should seek quick medical intervention for those showing any symptoms.

Mbai said the quarantine centre at Kiunyu will offer first aid for the patients before they can be transferred to other health facilities.

“We do not want to jump into conclusions and we have taken water samples from the river for examination. As we wait for finalisation of the tests, we want all residents to report to the centre for assessment,” he said.

Kiambu chief officer in charge of health Dr Jacob Toro said they had created an isolation room at Thika Level Five Hospital to fasten attendance of those admitted.

He said 14, among the patients who are suspected to be suffering from cholera, were attended to and discharged, while 18 are still receiving treatment on an outpatient basis.

“We are urging the public to be extra cautious when it comes to hygiene.  Wash your hands after going to the toilet, boil water for drinking and ensure that you use clean water to wash vegetables and fruits,” he said.

Toro added that the two fatalities were dehydrated from excessive diarrhoea and vomiting, adding that further investigation into the cause of death will be done when the postmortem is conducted.

Thika Level Five Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Nyaga  Maina  said he had received information about the patients and he was coordinating to have a full report that he would release later.

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