GARISSA—-Garissa County is leading in the national cholera outbreak, the Ministry of Health report indicates.
Garissa County (654 suspected cases), followed by Nairobi (384), Machakos (231) and Kiambu (164). At least 55 cholera-associated deaths have been reported since early December last year. This represents the most complete data available as of the first week of January, 2023.
This is the second cholera outbreak in a span of one year with 1,409 new cases reported nationwide since October last year. The first case was confirmed after 8 people who had attended a wedding held in Red Hill Gardens, Kiambu County. Cholera is endemic in Kenya, especially in the Coast, Eastern, Nyanza Rift valley provinces.
Kenya reported 38 cases of cholera in 2021, 447 in 2020 and 5,208 in 2019. Communities that lack access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation are at an increased risk of spreading the disease.
Cholera is transmitted directly through food or water contaminated with fecal material from an infected person. Most infected people develop no symptoms or only mild diarrhea. However, approximately one in 10 infected people develop severe cholera, which causes symptoms including profuse, watery diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, muscle cramps, restlessness, or irritability.
Symptoms typically appear two or three days after exposure but can develop up to five days after exposure. Individuals with severe cholera can develop acute renal failure, severe electrolyte imbalances, and coma. If left untreated, these can lead to shock and rapid death.