Zim records 320 cholera cases in a week

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ZIMBABWE recorded 320 suspected cases of cholera last week, the highest weekly total since the outbreak began on February 12.

In total, health authorities are dealing with 1 188 suspected cases of the disease countrywide, after 68 new cases were reported on Friday.

The cases were reported in Glen View (16), Budiriro (13), Dzivaresekwa (14), Mutare Rural (13), Chimanimani (8), while four others were recorded in different parts of the country.

Twenty-one people have so far succumbed to the disease.

There are fears that Harare province is fast turning into an epicentre of the disease, with the second highest number of suspected cases (288), behind Manicaland province (451).

Harare City Council health services director Dr Prosper Chonzi said: “The cumulative cases and deaths are a result of patients presenting themselves for treatment rather too late.

“There is also a lack of experience among health staff to diagnose patients.

“More importantly, water rationing in the city could be driving the rising number of suspected cases.”

Seventeen districts have been classified as cholera hotspots.

They are Buhera, Chegutu, Chikomba, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Chitungwiza, Chiredzi, Harare, Gokwe North, Marondera, Mazowe, Shamva, Mutare, Murehwa, Mwenezi, Seke and Wedza.

Zimbabwe is among the 14 countries that have reported cholera outbreaks since the beginning of the year.

Government is planning to roll out a nationwide cholera vaccination campaign soon.

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