Cholera threat: Zimbabwe says it is ready

Zimbabwe says it has activated all systems to deal with the cholera threat as the disease affects neighbours Zambia.

61 people had died by Tuesday and a total 2,672 cases recorded in Zambia since September 2017. The outbreak has resulted in the start to the school year postponed, street vending outlawed, church services cancelled, nightclub hours curbed and all public gatherings banned in Lusaka.

Naturally this has become a concern for countries in Southern Africa.

Zimbabwe’s Health And Child Care minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said all borders and port entries had been put on high alert. He says the same surveillance used on typhoid would be implemented on cholera.

The last time Zimbabwe had a cholera outbreak in 2008-2009 figures as high as 60,000 infected with a 10% fatality were estimated by OxFam and Unicef.

Cholera, according to WebMD is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated. It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.

Symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection. Often, symptoms are mild. But sometimes they are very serious. About one in 20 people infected have severe watery diarrheaaccompanied by vomiting, which can quickly lead to dehydration. Although many infected people may have minimal or no symptoms, they can still contribute to spread of the infection.