The government, on Friday, warned Kenyans of a cholera outbreak at the British Camp in Nanyuki, Laikipia County.
Through the Directorate of Public Communications, the government confirmed that over 172 individuals at the camp were affected by the outbreak in the past three months.
The outbreak was said to have been caused by a unique parasite subtype, linked to farmed monkeys in China.
“The British Army in Kenya has confirmed a severe diarrhoea outbreak. A unique parasite subtype, linked to farmed monkeys in China has been identified,” read part of the statement.
Soldiers from the British army using the L118 Light Gun – a 105 mm towed howitzer
“This marks the largest outbreak reported by the army worldwide.”
The government cautioned members of the public to practice hygiene and seek medical attention should they identify any symptoms.
“Stay informed, practice hygiene measures and seek immediate medical attention if symptomatic.”
The Directorate, which is housed under the ICT Ministry, is mandated to promote Government policies, programmes and strategies to the general public.
The Health Ministry has not issued a statement regarding the outbreak at the time of publishing this article.
What is Cholera
Cholera is an acute disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. It mostly affects people with inadequate access to basic sanitation.
Most of those affected develop mild symptoms that can be treated if identified in the early stages.
Severe cases, on the other hand, require rapid treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.
The disease is primarily transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food or water. It can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea, vomiting, restlessness or irritability.
Other symptoms include loss of skin elasticity, rapid heart rate, dry mucous membranes and low blood pressure.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one should practise hygiene and basic sanitation to reduce the risk of contracting cholera.
This involves drinking treated water, washing hands often with soap and water, ensuring food is properly cooked, cleaning and disinfecting the kitchen, toilets and safely disposing of the dirty water.
According to statistics from WHO, Kenya has recorded over 7,800 cases by March 2023, During the same period, 122 fatalities were recorded.
In February 2023, the government launched a cholera vaccination drive to curb the outbreak, especially in the Northern regions. This campaign targeted 2.2 million people in the worst-affected counties.
A doctor carries out a test in a laboratory.