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Zambia’s cholera deaths near 200 as government heightens surveillance

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The number of cholera deaths in Zambia rose to 195 over the weekend as the government upped health surveillance measures to curb further spread of the virulent disease.

Some 5,071 cases have been confirmed in the southern African country.

Speaking at a press briefing over the weekend, Health Minister Sylvia Masebo noted that about eighty percent of recorded deaths are attributed to patients reporting to health facilities at a late stage.

Masebo urged the public to promptly report any suspected cases to their nearest health facilities to prevent further fatalities.

Cholera is transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated food or water, and can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea. Severe forms of the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

The Zambian health minister said the government was collaborating with various stakeholders, including military wings, to address the cholera outbreak comprehensively.

Zambia has experienced multiple cholera outbreaks since January 2023, affecting 20 districts.

The latest outbreak, first reported in October, has persisted despite various mitigation efforts by health authorities.

In light of the outbreak, the government postponed the opening of schools by three weeks.


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