Disease that has killed four people in Nkhata Bay identified as E.Coli infection


Health authorities in Nkhata Bay say the diarrhea outbreak that has killed four people in the district has been caused by bacteria called E.Coli and may have spread due to poor hygiene.

Nkhata-Bay Health and Social Services Director Dr. Watikonda Mbendera said samples were collected from affected persons and results of tests conducted at Mzuzu Central Hospital indicate that the diarrhea outbreak was caused by bacteria known as E.Coli which spreads like Cholera.

Dr. Mbendera said the disease might have spread in several villages due to poor hygiene and sanitation as most community members do not use toilets and depend on a river and lake for water supply.

Nkhata Bay has so far recorded 52 cases and 4 deaths since last week.

According to the CDC website, Escherichia Coli (abbreviated as E. Coli) are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals.

Most strains of E. Coli are harmless, but others make people sick, causing diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses.

The infection can spread through eating contaminated food, contact with infected persons and drinking water from inadequately treated water supplies as well as swimming or playing in contaminated water, such as ponds or stream

Infected people are advised to drink plenty of fluids but are advised not to take antibiotics or anti-diarrhea drugs.

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