The government of Kenya has announced a cholera outbreak, reporting numerous cases in Nanyuki, Laikipia County.
In a statement through the Directorate of Public Communications, the outbreak involves a distinct strain of the disease caused by Chinese monkeys.
“A unique parasite subtype, linked to farmed monkeys in China, has been identified,” part of the statement read.
Following the outbreak, the state further issued precautionary measures to curtail the spread of the disease.
“Stay informed, practice hygiene measures, and seek immediate medical attention if symptomatic.”
Cholera Causes from WHO Reports
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes cholera as an extremely contagious illness transmitted through consuming contaminated food or water.
The symptoms include severe and sudden watery diarrhea, with potentially fatal consequences if not promptly treated.
Despite many infected individuals not showing symptoms, they can still excrete the bacteria in their stool for up to 10 days, posing a risk of transmission to others.
For those with symptoms, they typically experience mild or moderate manifestations within 12 hours to five days after infection.
However, a minority may suffer from acute watery diarrhea accompanied by severe dehydration, which can be fatal if not addressed promptly.
History of the Disease
The historical context of cholera, as outlined by WHO, reveals its emergence in the 19th Century from the Ganges delta in India, with six pandemics claiming millions of lives across diverse continents.
The seventh pandemic, starting in South Asia in 1961, extended to Africa by 1971, and reached the Americas in 1991.
Presently, cholera has become entrenched in many countries, marking it as an endemic health concern.
However, the county government of Laikipia dispelled reports of the disease outbreak.
Laikipia Health CEC Albert Taiti stated that there was no disease outbreak in the county and that the devolved unit had not recorded a single case.
He stated: “Cholera is not transmitted from monkeys to humans. Please ignore the social media messages but we urge you all to continue observing healthy habits for prevention and protection from diseases and other infections.”