An ongoing cholera outbreak in Harare, first reported on Friday, September 7, has left at least 45 people dead as of Tuesday, September 25. According to health officials, at least 6428 suspected cases, including 96 confirmed cases have been reported throughout the city. Two cases have also been reported in Makoni, and Masvingo. On September 11, authorities in Harare issued a cholera emergency, banning the sale of meat and fish in markets and suspending classes in the Budiriro and Glenview neighborhoods. The outbreak has reportedly been attributed to individuals drinking water from a borehole contaminated by a leaking sewer pipe. Further spread of the outbreak is to be anticipated in the near-term.
Cholera is typically spread via infected water supplies and induces acute diarrhea leading to severe dehydration, frequently resulting in death. The risk of death is greatest among people with compromised immune systems, such as malnourished children or those living with HIV. However, even among healthy adults, cholera can be fatal within a matter of hours.
To reduce the risk of contracting cholera, wash hands regularly, drink only bottled or purified water, and avoid eating raw or undercooked foods. Individuals who believe they may have contracted cholera should seek immediate medical attention.
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