Cholera yet to be contained in KapilvastuA 13-year-old girl succumbed to the disease on Sunday, taking the death toll from the outbreak to seven.
The cholera outbreak that started in Krishnanagar Municipality of Kapilvastu district in October first week is yet to be contained. The infection continues to spread amid the vaccination drive launched by the Ministry of Health and Population.
A 13-year-old girl is the latest victim of the cholera outbreak in Kapilvastu, a western Tarai district of Lumbini Province. According to the District Health Office, the teenager, a resident of Mahuwa settlement in Buddhabhumi Municipality-6, died of cholera while undergoing treatment at Taulihawa Hospital on Sunday evening. With this, the death toll of the cholera outbreak in Kapilvastu reaches seven.
“Cholera infection was confirmed after we carried out an RDT antigen test of the deceased’s stool sample. The situation is not good in the district. Everyone should come together to contain the outbreak,” said Umesh Ghimire, the epidemic control focal person at the District Health Office.
The disease, which broke out in wards 7, 8 and 9 of Krishnanagar Municipality in the first week of October, has now spread to seven other local units of the district—Krishnanagar, Shivaraj, Maharajgunj and Kapilvastu municipalities and Bijayanagar, Yashodhara, Buddhabhumi and Mayadevi rural municipalities.
As many as 14 people were found infected with cholera while carrying out RDT antigen tests at wards 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 of Bhuddhabhumi and ward 7 of Mayadavi in the past week. Similarly, cholera was detected in a patient from Kapilvastu Municipality-1.
“The RDT antigen testing confirmed cholera infection in 15 patients. The stool samples were taken to the provincial laboratory in Butwal for further testing. The culture testing of the samples also confirmed cholera,” said Hemraj Pandey, chief at the District Health Office.
Cholera is a highly infectious disease that causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting, which leads to dehydration and even death within a few hours if left untreated. Escherichia coli, or E. coli, are bacteria that normally live in the intestines of people and animals. Most types of E. coli are harmless and even help keep the digestive tract healthy. But some strains can cause diarrhoea when one eats or drinks contaminated food and water.
To prevent cholera infection, health workers suggest a high level of hygiene and sanitation be put into practice and drinking clean water as cholera is a water-borne disease.
Dr Jabed Khan, a consultant physician at the district hospital in Taulihawa, warned that the effectiveness of the cholera vaccination depends on sanitation.
“People won’t suffer from cholera if they are careful about sanitation,” he said.
The cholera epidemic has so far claimed seven lives, including four minors. Four patients of Krishnanagar and one each from Shivaraj, Yashodhara and Buddhabhumi died of cholera in October.
The oral cholera vaccination campaign is underway at Krishnanagar, Shivaraj, Maharajgunj, Bijayanagar and Yashodhara local units of Kapilvastu since November 27. The authorities aim to vaccinate 252,363 people.