The number of cholera cases registered in Nsanje District has risen from four to f14 since March 12, Nsanje District Health Office confirmed on Wednesday.
Speaking in an interview, Nsanje District Health Officer (DHO) Alexander Chijuwa said samples from all the nine Mozambicans and five Malawians tested positive to cholera.
This brings to 17 the number of cholera cases recorded in the country this season.
The three other cases, all from Mozambique, were reported at Gaga Health Centre in the area of Traditional Authority Chapananga in Chikwawa.
Meanwhile, Chijuwa said 13 out of 14 patients who were quarantined have been discharged from Ndamera Health Centre which is close to the Mozambique border.
“The outbreak started from Mozambique. We suspect that the people that were infected had contacts with individuals from Mozambique or probably ate food from that side,” he said.
He further said no more new case has been recorded since last Sunday.
“But let me be quick to point out that this does not mean the outbreak is over as procedures require that we wait for a period of two weeks, and if no new case is recorded in that period then we can declare the outbreak over,” explained Chijuwa.
The DHO said his office has engaged local leaders, the clergy and local radio stations in sensitising communities on how to deal with the outbreak.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of Health Adrian Chikumbe said his office is on high alert to make sure the outbreak does not spread to other districts.
Chikumbe said among others, the ministry is making sure medical facilities are equipped with enough drugs and is promoting high levels of sanitation and hygiene among the communities to deal with the outbreak.
Said Chikumbe: “We have provided enough chlorine in all health facilities for distribution to communities. Our health surveillance officers are on the ground alerting people on the symptoms and signs and making sure those infected seek medical attention in time.”
Last season the ministry gave cholera vaccine to about 70 thousand people in all cholera prone areas including Phalombe and Machinga.
The vaccines protects people from attacks of cholera for a period of five years.
The outbreak claimed 58 lives the previous rainy season where 1786 cases were recorded from December 2015 to September 2016.