CHOLERA has broken out in Lusaka’s Kanyama township, with 13 of the 20 victims already admitted to a treatment centre.

This is the first time Lusaka is experiencing a cholera outbreak since 2010.

The Ministry of Health has advised the public to enhance self-hygiene such as washing hands with clean water.

Ministry of Health acting spokesperson Tasila Pitters who confirmed the outbreak said Lusaka Province had recorded 20 cases in Kanyama township.

She said there was need for the public to avoid unnecessary handshakes and public gatherings during the cholera outbreak period.

Dr Pitters said a cholera treatment centre had been set up at Kanyama health centre for isolation and treatment of cholera patients.

She said an emergency epidemic preparedness committee meeting was held yesterday to respond to the outbreak.

According to medical books, cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms may range from mild to severe reactions. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhoea that lasts a few days.

Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Diarrhoea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet.

The dehydration may result in the skin turning bluish. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.

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