Namibia confirms cholera case in Windhoek

Barely two weeks after the Namibian government banned the import of all perishable foods from neighbouring cholera-hit Zambia, Windhoek has recorded its first cholera case, the government has confirmed.

The acute diarrheal illness caused by Vibrio cholerae sero-groups 01 or 0139, whch killed more than 60 in Zambia this January is transmitted oro-faecally, that is through eating or drinking contaminated food or water, and characterized by profuse watery diarrhoea with or without vomiting.

Said the Ministry of Health in Namibia, “On 25 January 2018, a patient presenting with diarrhea (rice watery stools), vomiting and dehydration at a private consulting room in Windhoek. The patient is a 10yrs old boy attending school at People’s Primary School in Katutura and is residing in King Kauluma Street, Oshitenda Location, Windhoek.”

The patient was admitted at Windhoek Central Hospital that same day 25/01/2018. It was reported that two other boys in his class were also vomiting and had diarrhea. Upon investigation, it was revealed that the 2 boys including the patient in WCH shared a sausage from home and started vomiting and having diarrhea few hours later. All were taken to hospitals by their parents suspecting food poisoning.

On January 29, the results of the 10yrs old came back positive with vibrio cholerae isolated. It should be noted that one confirmed case of cholera constitutes an outbreak.

A Rapid response team that included the Regional MIS, District Surveillance Officer, 2 Environmental Health practitioners and 1 FELTEP residence visited the house of the confirmed case to carry out an investigation.

The 10 years old boy is discharged and well. The other 2 boys are also well and back to school.

No other case has been reported so far.

So far health education has been given to the affected households. Further investigation is ongoing. The other cases at school that presented with the same symptoms are also being monitored.

Surveillance has been strengthened and HWs at facilities have been alerted to be on the lookout for cholera cases.

  • Staff at facility level to be sensitized to be on alert
  • Sensitization of community via community leaders and community health workers.
  • Need of Cholera information leaflets for community distribution
  • Ensure availability of standard case definition in facilities and community level
  • Ensure proper case management

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