Cholera breaks out in eastern Zambia with one death recorded

LUSAKA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Zambia has recorded its first four cholera cases and one death in the eastern part of the country, a government official said on Thursday.

The Ministry of Health has received an alert indicating a cholera outbreak in Vubwi District of Eastern Province since Jan. 22, Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo told journalists during a press briefing.

She said so far four confirmed cases and one death have been recorded in the district, while another seven suspected cases were being investigated.

The district's rapid response teams have since responded urgently to try and control as well as break the transmission of the waterborne disease, she added.

According to the minister, the authorities have identified all the contact persons to the cases and established that the communities affected so far include up to 719 people in six villages.

Zambia, she said, remains at risk of similar outbreaks beyond the current affected district, considering the ongoing cholera outbreaks in some neighboring countries.

She further said a response action mode has since been put in place to contain the spread of the disease, including a 72-hour cholera contingency plan.

She added that about 26,000 cholera vaccine doses, bottled chlorine, a mobile water filtration system, and rapid diagnostic tests that will be dispatched to the affected areas have been mobilized.

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