Friday, April 30, 2010

Cholera alert!

By Rosheila Tess E Dagina

Surveillance and Emergency Outbreaks Officer

National Department of Health


Dear Friends,


Good afternoon to you all I would like to take this time to make aware to you all that cholera is now in Port Moresby.

We have confirmed the diagnosis by laboratory support from Central Public Health Laboratory at Port Moresby General Hospital for a couple of cases

Just to remind you all, that this disease has the potential to cause a major epidemic in the city and its peripheries if appropriate control and preventive measures are not seriously taken in to consideration.

This diarrhoeal disease can be fatal in at least 6 hrs from the onset of symptoms if immediate medical advice is ignored.

Symptoms include:

·        Sudden onset of profuse watery diarrhea;

·        No fever associated; and

·        There may be vomiting or abdominal cramps.

All these lead to very severe dehydration and death.

The first thing to do at home is to drink plenty of water (coconut juice is very helpful) and seek immediate medical Attention at your nearest health facility.

Preventive measures I can reemphasise as a reminder:

1.      Always wash hands  after using the toilet or before preparing and handling food

2.      Wash all fruits before eating( especially skin)

3.      Boil water before storing as drinking water (70 degrees Celsius at least will do)

4.      Cook all food thoroughly before eating

5.      Avoid Flies.

The good news here is that this disease can be contained and eradicated from an epidemic to an endemic state if simples measures as above a followed.

If you do see or hear of an unusual increase in the above symptoms in association to diarrhoea in your areas, Speak to your Health Workers to immediately report to the National Department of Health Surveillance Unit for further investigation and verification.


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