DAR ES SALAAM, 10 September
2008 (IRIN) - Four people have died of cholera and dozens were admitted
to health centres in the northern Tanzanian region of Mara, according
to health officials.
Mara Regional Medical Officer Stephen
Kebwe said four patients died in the first week of September in Tarime
district, which borders Kenya.
"Doctors and nurses have been deployed to the affected areas .. the situation has now greatly improved," Kebwe said.
is an acute illness characterized by watery diarrhea that is caused by
the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The disease is spread by eating food or
drinking water contaminated with the bacteria.
Contamination usually occurs when human feces from a person who has the disease seeps into a community water supply.
Fruit and vegetables can also be contaminated in areas where crops are fertilized with human feces.
bacteria also live in warm, brackish water and can infect persons who
eat raw or undercooked seafood obtained from such waters.
said cholera cases were first reported in Tarime on August 16, 2008.
The officer said so far 180 cases have been reported in Tarime and
Rorya districts. Kebwe said 164 cases were treated at various health
centres and discharged.
Kebwe said 16 patients were still admitted at health centres in the two district until Wednesday morning.
campaigns, he said, against cholera were being conducted in the area.
He said people were being urged to observe hygienic rules strictly.
Photo: Julius Mwelu/IRIN A
butchery in Arusha: Four people have died of cholera, spread by eating
food or drinking water that is contaminated, in the northern Tanzanian
region of Mara