Addressing a press conference at his office yesterday morning, Dr Rutachunzibwa said 72 patients were admitted to Nshambya hospital, in the municipality adding that 60 patients were discharged but two among them later developed serious complications and died on their way back to hospital.

He said out of the samples taken from 15 patients, five were confirmed to have contracted cholera, with two deaths recorded so far.

Twelve patients were currently admitted at Nshambya hospital, he said. According to the RMO, the most affected wards includes Rwamishenye, Kashai, Hamugembe, Nshambya, Kibeta and Musira island in Miembeni ward. “The fight against the pandemic must involve all residents. It is a matter of life and death.

“The only known cause for the deadly disease is filthy in all its forms. First and foremost, proper sanitation is one of the tools against the disease. It requires the highest degree of personal hygiene.

This can be done. Let us all take heed,” he said. He noted that the dreaded killer pandemic, cholera, is once again wreaking havoc in the country. He urged residents to take precautionary measures, including washing hands with soap, before taking any meal and doing the same when coming out of a latrine.

He has as well called upon residents in the region to ensure they boil or chemically treat drinking water. This follows confirmed reports that 18 people had so far died of cholera in neighbouring, Mwanza region. He said that the agenda of keeping the environment clean should be permanent …”this should be routine for each household to ensure that they have decent toilets and that garbage is disposed,” he said.

According to Dr Rutachunzibwa, cholera is an infection of the small intestines by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholera. Symptoms may range from none, mild, to severe.

The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhoea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Diarrhoea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity and wrinkling of the hands and feet.

The dehydration may result in the skin turning bluish. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure. Cholera is caused by number of types of Vibrio Cholera, with some producing more severe disease than others.

It is spread mostly by water and food that has been contaminated with human faeces containing the bacteria. Insufficiently cooked seafood is a common source humans are the only beings affected.

Risk factors of the disease includes poor sanitation, not enough clean drinking water and poverty. Prevention involves improved sanitation and access to clean water. Cholera affects an estimated 3-5 million people worldwide and causes 58,000-130,000 deaths a year.

By MEDDY MULISA, Tanzania Daily News


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