New cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe

Health officials in Francistown, Botswana have warned the public to be on guard following recent reports of a new cholera outbreak in neighbouring Zimbabwe. Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital public relations officer Caiphus Gabana said the hospital in conjunction with the district health team is closely monitoring the situation to avoid the deadly disease from spreading to Botswana.

He said they are still assessing the seriousness of the situation to see there is a threat to Botswana. He added that if the assessment proves that there is a crisis they will send some doctors-without-borders to Zimbabwe to help control the outbreak. "We haven’t sat down yet to consider which way to go. But as for now, I can only advise people to be on guard.

If they see any symptoms that they suspect to be of cholera, they should rush to the nearest hospital or clinic before the disease gets out of hand," cautioned Gabana. He said it was paramount for the disease to be treated at an early stage, before the bacteria spreads. He urged the general public to practice personal hygiene, adding that supermarkets and food outlets in the city should exercise caution when serving clients. He explained that cholera is a bacterial disease that is caused by drinking contaminated water or eating unhygienic food.

He said the major symptoms of cholera are diarrhea and vomiting. Last week it was reported that at least five people in Zimbabwe had died of cholera, while many others received treatment.