The Ministry of Health (MoH) has warned the public to be alert for waterborne diseases that are common in the rainy season, including typhoid fever and cholera.
In a statement issued last week, the ministry states that the rainy season has almost started; hence, the alert to help prevent the diseases.
MoH spokesperson Joshua Malango in an interview yesterday said most clinical tests can detect the diseases after at least a week.
He said: “The tests are enough for us because they enable us to diagnose those with the disease in time and treat them appropriately. In addition, it enables the detection of carriers to prevent further transmission.”
Malango said the ministry has put in place various measures to prevent the spread of the diseases.
“We are distributing chlorine in targeted communities that have poor access to potable water. The exercise is usually for the period those communities are deemed at high risk of cholera,” he said.
Typhoid fever is a bacterial disease caused by Salmonella typhi and transmitted through the ingestion of food or water contaminated by the faeces or urine of infected people.
On the hand, cholera is a diarrhoea infection of food or water contaminated with the bacterium called “vibrio cholerae”.
MoH says as of April 7 this year, the country recorded 880 cases of cholera with 28 deaths since the onset of the outbreak last December.
Typhoid fever affects an estimated 20.6 million people globally each year, causing an estimated 223 000 deaths.