In a follow-up on the cholera situation in Kenya (HERE and HERE), the World Health Organization (WHO) reports a total of 1216 suspected cases including 14 deaths (case fatality rate: 1.2%) have been reported since 1 January 2017.
The cholera outbreak has appeared in Kenya in two waves. The first cholera outbreak reported in 2017 was in Tana River County. The outbreak started on 10 October 2016 and was controlled by April 2017.
A second wave of cholera outbreaks started in Garissa County on 2 April 2017 and was reported later in nine other counties including Nairobi, Murang’a, Vihiga, Mombasa, Turkana, Kericho, Nakuru, Kiambu, and Narok. The outbreak is being reported in the general population and in refugee camps. In Garissa County, the outbreak is affecting mainly Dadaab refugee camps and cases and deaths are being reported from Hagadera, Dagahaleh, and IFO2 camps. In Turkana county, the disease is also affecting Kakuma and Kalobeyei refugee camps.
In addition to the outbreak reported in the general population, there have been two point source cholera outbreaks in Nairobi County. One occurred among participants attending a conference in a Nairobi hotel on 22 June 2017. A total of 146 patients associated with this outbreak have been treated in different hospitals in Nairobi. A second outbreak occurred at the China Trade Fair held at the KICC Tsavo Ball between 10 and 12 July 2017. A total of 136 cases were reported and one death.
The main causative factors of the current outbreak include the high population density that is conducive to the propagation and spread of the disease, mass gatherings (a wedding party held in Karen and in a hotel during an international conference), low access to safe water and proper sanitation and the massive population movements in country and with neighboring countries.
Since December 2014, the Republic of Kenya has been experiencing continuous large outbreaks of cholera, with a cumulative total of 17 597 cases reported (10 568 cases reported in 2015 and 6448 in 2016).
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