|Photo credit: Samrack Media|
A suspected cholera outbreak caused panic at a Nairobi hotel, Kenya, where several delegates were attending an international health conference on Thursday.
Nairobi County government health official, Bernard Muia said some 10 medics among them two doctors who were part of the delegates at the conference were rushed to hospitals after they contracted a disease suspected to be cholera at Weston Hotel that has in the past been associated with Deputy President William Ruto.
Muia said the visitors started experiencing symptoms similar to those of cholera that is vomiting and intense diarrhea.
“Those affected have already been admitted to hospital but we are not sure whether it is indeed cholera but we are still investigating.
“We have already collected samples for testing and we will issue an alert if it is indeed cholera,” said Muia.
He said contingency measures have been put in place in case more people are infected.
The delegates are attending the Kenya International Scientific Lung Health Conference, which had been organised by the ministry of health.
Muia said majority of the participants are medics from public sector.
The outbreak came at a time services in all public hospitals have been crippled by a nurses’ strike.
The nurses were joined by doctors in the strike to agitate for the payment of their salary arrears.
The county health chief, however, said that the doctors had not yet confirmed whether it was cholera but all fingers pointed at it being food poisoning or a water borne disease.
“We suspect that those infected had consumed water that was not clean or are suffering from food poisoning. I was there and managed to rush them to hospital for treatment and testing for cholera,” he said.
Cholera is a gastrointestinal disease, usually spread by contaminated water and food, and can cause severe diarrhea that in extreme cases, can lead to fatal dehydration and kidney failure within hours.