80 cases in Nkayi di­ar­rhoea out­break

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Whins­ley Masara

NKAYI has been hit by a di­ar­rhoea out­break with more than 80 cases hav­ing been recorded since last week.

The first cases were recorded fol­low­ing a foot­ball tour­na­ment that was held in Seb­hu­mane area last week on Sun­day.

Mata­bele­land North Provin­cial Med­i­cal Direc­tor Dr Nyasha Ma­suka said health teams have been sent to the af­fected ar­eas.

“I can con­firm that there are di­ar­rhoea cases that have been recorded at two health cen­tres in the past week. Last Wed­nes­day six foot­ball play­ers went to one of our clin­ics, three days af­ter a foot­ball tour­na­ment, suf­fer­ing from di­ar­rhoea and fever.

“The first six cases were recorded at Seb­hu­mane Ru­ral Cen­tre on Wed­nes­day and they were man­aged. On Thurs­day and Fri­day, Sikhobokhobo Ru­ral Cen­tre re­ceived about 53 cases whilst Seb­hu­mane re­ceived an­other 27 cases of di­ar­rhoea,” he said.

Dr Ma­suka said con­tam­i­nated wa­ter was sus­pected to be the ma­jor cause of the out­break, but tests were be­ing con­ducted.

“Ini­tially we sus­pected food poi­son­ing be­cause the first six peo­ple to present them­selves were play­ers at the tour­na­ment but we then ruled it out when we be­gan to re­ceive more cases from peo­ple who had not at­tended the foot­ball tour­na­ment. The in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod of what­ever it is that was af­fect­ing them also in­creased our doubts on food poi­son­ing. They had the tour­na­ment on Sun­day and only started pre­sent­ing them­selves at the health cen­tre on Wed­nes­day.”

He said they sus­pect that peo­ple drank con­tam­i­nated wa­ter.

Dr Ma­suka said some of the peo­ple drank wa­ter from Shangani River.

“We sent out an in­ves­ti­gat­ing team to get wa­ter sam­ples at five strate­gic points in the wa­ter bod­ies within that lo­cal­ity. Stool tests were also taken.

“Ap­par­ently, due to more cases com­ing from down­stream, on the other side of Shangani River, it means there is still need for ac­tive case find­ing as the con­tam­i­na­tion could be on a larger area than we had sus­pected. To­day we are send­ing out an­other team to col­lect more sam­ples. World Vi­sion, District Ad­min­is­tra­tors and the President’s Of­fice are as­sist­ing us in the ex­er­cise,” he said.—@win­nie_­masara

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