Kenya confirms 65 deaths from cholera outbreak

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Nairobi, May 20 (IANS) The death toll from cholera outbreak in Kenya has risen to 65, with at least 3,234 cases reported across the country, authorities said on Tuesday.

“Cumulatively 326 new cases were reported in the last one week. This is an increase from the previous week where 226 new cases were reported,” Cabinet Secretary for Health James Macharia said in a statement released in Nairobi, Xinhua reported.

He said six new deaths were reported in the last one week and pledged that the government will intensify surveillance, public awareness and provision of water treatment chemicals to halt cholera infections.

Macharia said the outbreak, which started in Nairobi on December 26, 2014 has since spread to 11 out of 47 counties in Kenya, adding that a prolonged dry spell, poor hygienic practices and inadequate health facilities worsened the spread of cholera.

The cholera outbreak was initially reported in western Kenya but later spread to Nairobi, central and the coastal regions.

Macharia said a spike in cholera infections and deaths was recorded in the month of April following heavy downpour and flooding.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated.