Paidamoyo Chipunza and Sibongile Maruta
A new suspected case of cholera has been reported in Norton and the victim has since been identified as one of the mourners who attended the funeral of one of the four people who recently died of the disease in Chegutu.
Health and Child Care permanent secretary Brigadier-General Dr Gerald Gwinji (Retired) confirmed that officials in Norton recorded a case on Tuesday of a male adult who had symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting.
“So far preliminary tests done on this Norton case have come out negative. The case is, however, being monitored due to his history of travel to a funeral in Chegutu,” said Dr Gwinji.
He said ever since the Chegutu cholera outbreak on January 18, Government has been on high alert for any cases presenting cholera-like symptoms.
Health officials are reportedly thoroughly investigating all suspected cases.
“Anyone who present with signs and symptoms resembling cholera such as diarrhoea and vomiting is being investigated. An example is a case in Norton reported on the 30th of January,” said Dr Gwinji.
He said since the funerals of the Chegutu cholera victims were attended by people who travelled from many areas across the country, all the country’s provinces and districts were on high alert and have since activated their rapid response teams.
Government says to date, 94 suspected cases of cholera have been recorded in Chegutu, with six having been confirmed.
However, the disease has claimed four victims since the January 18 outbreak.
“The number of cases being recorded are on a downward trend, with only four having been recorded as of today (yesterday),” said Dr Gwinji.
In an effort to contain the outbreak, Dr Gwinji said Government has further set up a treatment camp at Chinengundu Clinic in Chegutu to treat all suspected cases.
Water treatment chemicals, he said, are being distributed and uninterrupted water supply to the community is being maintained.
Further, awareness campaigns are being done, while the ban on food vending at undesignated areas is currently being enforced.
Dr Gwinji said health officials will continue following up on all people who attended the Chegutu funerals.
Meanwhile, Norton legislator Mr Temba Mliswa has donated $2 000 towards essential medicines required in managing cholera patients in his constituency.
He urged all Norton residents to adhere to strict hygiene standards, which include washing hands before handling food, after visiting the toilet and treating water for consumption at the point of use.
“It is a great travesty that the poor service delivery standards act as a catalyst to the spread of communicable diseases, but let us in the interim work together with what is available to preserve life and limb,” said Honourable Mliswa.