January 31, 2018 / 6:09 PM / 10 months ago

Namibia reports first cholera case after deadly outbreak in Zambia

WINDHOEK (Reuters) - A 10-year old schoolboy has become the first person diagnosed with cholera in Namibia for four years, the health ministry said on Wednesday, raising fears of an outbreak similar to one that killed dozens last month in neighboring Zambia.

Two other boys who attend the same school as the child who contracted the disease and shared food with him were also suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, the Ministry of Health and Social Services said in a statement.

The school is in Katutura, an the impoverished suburb of the capital Windhoek.

The ministry said further investigation is ongoing and health workers have been alerted to be on the lookout for cholera cases.

The case comes three weeks after the Namibian government provisionally banned the import of all perishable food and water from Zambia, which was at that time struggling under the weight of a cholera outbreak that claimed 78 lives.

Zambia says it now has the situation under control.

Cholera is transmitted through eating or drinking contaminated food or water. It causes severe watery diarrhoea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated.

Reporting by Nyasha Nyaungwa; Editing by Joe Brock and Andrew Heavens

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