Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cholera kills 29 as Kenya’s water shortage bites via IRIN: At least 29 people have died of cholera and hundreds more are being treated for cholera-related symptoms such as acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) in the larger Turkana District in the northwest and in the eastern regions of Garbatulla and Laisamis, say health officials.

…The regions are not only facing an acute water shortage, due to a prolonged drought, but also have poor latrine coverage. In the past week, he said, a total of 246 AWD cases have been reported and are being treated as cholera due to confirmation of the disease. Some 42 cases of cholera have been confirmed in the region.

Laisamis is in the larger Marsabit District, a vast region stretching about 66,000 sqkm. Residents are forced to trek long distances to health centres. David Kasanga, Laisamis medical officer, told IRIN that three of the deceased had "died at home before they could reach [the] nearest health facilities".

Kasanga said health workers had been deployed to the affected areas, and the local Elmolo health centre has been reopened to deal with the new outbreak. He said tents had been set up to serve as temporary wards. "We have managed to get drugs but we need more assistance as [the drugs] might not be enough to handle the rising number of new cases," he said….

Scanning electron microscope image of Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which infect the digestive system. Shot with a Zeiss DSM 962 SEM, in case you're looking to add to your lens collection. From T.J. Kirn, M.J. Lafferty, C.M.P Sandoe and R.K. Taylor, 2000, "Delineation of pilin domains required for bacterial association into microcolonies and intestinal colonization", Molecular Microbiology, Vol. 35(4):896-910

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