Rwandan health officials are advising the public to be alert after a cholera outbreak has been detected on the border city of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the Rwanda news source, The Sunday Times Feb. 3.
As of this report, one person has succumbed to cholera, while the bacterial disease has left six others requiring hospitalization for their illnesses.
Rwandan reporters say that those affected include guards working at the Katindo Refugee Camp and their families.
Rwanda Ministry of Health officials say they are prepared to respond if the outbreak crosses the border DRC border from Goma to the Rwandan city of Gisenyi.
“We are prepared to combat the reported pandemic if it crosses to our side of the border,”says Dr. Thierry Nyatanyi, head of epidemic infectious diseases division at the Rwanda Biomedical Centre.
Last July, the DRC reported a cholera outbreak in the armed conflict area of North Kivu.
Cholera is a bacterial disease that can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Cholera is most often spread through eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Water may be contaminated by the feces of an infected person or by untreated sewage. Food may be contaminated by water containing cholera bacteria or by being handled by a person ill with cholera.
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