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21.11.2005 Health

Laboratory tests fail to confirm cholera

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Takoradi, Nov.21, - GNA - Laboratory tests on stool samples of patients suffering from severe diarrhoea and vomiting in three districts in the Western Region have failed to confirm that they are cholera cases, Mr. Edwin Kunbatazie, Western Regional Health Promotion Officer, said on Monday.

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Takoradi, he mentioned the districts where cholera was reported to have broken out as Sefwi Wiawso, Juabeso and Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai.

Mr Kunbatazie said, "No single cholera case in all the three districts have been confirmed by laboratory tests".

He said the first cholera case was reported in the Sefwi Wiawso district and the patient was a Kumasi based businessman. Mr Kunbatatazie said 13 cholera cases were recorded in the Juabeso district, five in the Sefwi Wiawso district and three in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai district. He said the victims were between 21 years to 54 years and none of them has died.

Mr Kunbatazie said District Health Management Teams, health institutions and community members have strengthened their surveillance systems and are monitoring diarrhoea cases to prevent the outbreak of cholera.

He advised the public to avoid cholera by properly washing fruits and vegetables with clean water before eating them and to, as much as possible avoid cold foods such as milk, iced kenkey, ice water and ice cream bought from hawkers.

People should wash their hands before cooking, eating and after visiting toilet and not to buy uncovered cooked foods sold by vendors, Mr Kunbatazie said.

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