The death of an 18-year-old male in Kwekwe from a suspected case of cholera on Saturday has left the gold mining city gripped with fears of a cholera outbreak, this publication reports.
The country has so far recorded 5964 suspected cholera cases, with 1055 confirmed cases, 5696 recoveries and 123 suspected deaths as of late October.
Cholera cases have been reported in Chitungwiza, Buhera, Harare, Mutare, Gutu, Zaka, Chipinge, Chegutu and Sanyati.
Kwekwe City’s Acting Health Director Precious Shumba confirmed the death but indicated that tests conducted in local laboratories excluded cholera.
“It is true that there’s an 18-year-old male who works in Chicago who presented at Kwekwe Hospital yesterday morning at 10 am, with a history of severe headache and pain around the umbilical region.
“He was admitted and later passed yellowish stool with mucus. They sent the specimen to the lab to establish what could be causing the mucoid stool. A rapid diagnostic test to exclude cholera was also done, which came out positive. Unfortunately, he passed away around 4:30 pm yesterday,” Shumba said.
Kwekwe has since sent the specimen to Gweru where tests were conducted Sunday awaiting official results.
“A confirmatory diagnostic test is going to be conducted today (Sunday) in Gweru. We are availing a vehicle to ferry the specimen to Gweru,” she said.
Meanwhile, a team from Kwekwe’s health department was dispatched to the deceased’s home to conduct tests.
“A team went to Chicago yesterday evening for surveillance and 17 people were assessed at the compound. None presented with any signs and symptoms of cholera. We are currently treating the case as a suspected cholera case because there are no signs and symptoms and history suggestive of cholera from the history and investigations conducted so far. Otherwise, the results from Gweru will give us a true reflection of what we are dealing with. Our team is going to visit Lancashire where the deceased stays…though he didn’t go there from the time he started to be sick,” she said.
She added that Kwekwe is on high cholera alert.
“Our team remains vigilant and prepared to respond to the scare. Meanwhile, the IDH is ready to admit the first case of cholera,” she said.