May 19, 2017 / 1:44 PM / 2 years ago

Cholera kills two in Kenyan capital, five hospitalized: official

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Cholera has killed two people in the Kenyan capital this week and another five are receiving treatment in hospital, a Nairobi county public health official said on Friday.

The diarrheal disease which is carried in food and water tainted by human faeces can kill within hours unless treated with intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

“There are about seven cases, five of them went to a wedding in Karen and they are admitted at Nairobi hospital. But two of them came from Vihiga district... we have information that they have died,” said Nairobi county deputy public health director, Jairus Musumba, referring to a region in western Kenya.

The victims were part of a larger group of about 400 guests who attended a wedding in a Nairobi neighborhood where food was provided by a catering company.

The county health official could not immediately confirm the source of contamination.

“We have inspected the person who did the catering... We are getting samples from food handlers to see what could be the source of contamination,” he said.

The last cholera outbreak occurred in March last year and killed at least 216 people with 13,000 hospitalized across the country, local newspaper Daily Nation reported.

According to the World Health Organization, Kenya has suffered several waves of outbreaks since 1971. The peaks occur during March-April, June and October-November.

“Cholera is pandemic in Nairobi, it keeps on coming and most of the time immediately after a drought when it rains we usually get sporadic cases,” Musumba told Reuters.

Heavy rains have been pounding many parts of the country in recent weeks, after drought - due to low rainfall in October and November.

Reporting by John Ndiso; Editing by George Obulutsa/Jeremy Gaunt

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