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Council on high alert for cholera outbreaks

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THE Harare City Council is on high alert for a possible cholera outbreak following heavy rains in the country resulting in a further deterioration of service delivery.

This follows reports that there is a cholera outbreak in Mozambique.City health director Prosper Chonzi said they had increased their surveillance especially on people coming from Mozambique in a bid to curb an outbreak of the disease.

“We are on the lookout for cholera,” Chonzi said.

“We have increased our surveillance especially people coming from the provinces which border Mozambique.

“We are taking their addresses and then we follow them up. This is to avoid having a cholera outbreak.”

Chonzi said the rains and the poor sanitation have seen an increase in water-borne diseases.

He revealed that a number of people were being treated for watery diarrhoea.

“There is a problem of water borne diseases nowadays and topping is watery diarrhoea,” Chonzi said.

“All those with watery diarrhoea and dehydration we do follow them up diligently especially if they are coming from affected areas. We have already started distributing messages to people to be aware of the diseases so that they do not spread.”

He also attributed the outbreak of diarrhoea to vendors selling food at undesignated areas.

“We are also discouraging people from buying food all over,” Chonzi said.

“There are now too many vendors selling food stuffs all over. So if people buy fruits anywhere, they should wash them thoroughly before eating them.”

Cholera is an infectious bacterial disease of the small intestine which is usually contracted from contaminated water.

Symptoms are watery diarrhoea, dehydration and kidney failure.

Zimbabwe last had a cholera outbreak in 2008 which claimed the lives of about 4 000 people.

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