The Lebanese Ministry of Health announced the registration of the first cholera case in the country in nearly 30 years.
The Media Office in the Ministry of Public Health issued the following statement:
“The first case of cholera was recorded, on October 5, in Lebanon, Akkar Governorate.” The patient’s condition is stable and he is receiving treatment in the hospital. It should be noted that this is the first case in Lebanon since 1993 (another date of cholera outbreak).
The Minister of Health in the Business Management Government, Dr. Fras Al-Bayd, held a coordinating meeting with the stakeholders concerned by representatives of international organizations, the Medical Unions, the Nursing Unions and the Lebanese Association for Bacterial Diseases, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Water and the CO Management Unit Legacy in cabinet and the Red cross.
The Ministry of Health’s cholera response plan, prepared in collaboration with the World Health Organization and UNICEF and in agreement with all healthcare partners, was presented and includes the following:
- Promote the survey of cases and their surroundings, through field visits, detection and disinfection of water sources and sewage networks when needed.”
- Direct monitoring of cholera bacteria in sewage through collecting samples from all Lebanese governorates for bacterial implantation
- Issuing a circular to hospitals, health centers and health workers on the definition of cases.
- Securing initial stock of required serums and medicines, in preparation for the treatment of injuries.
- Activation of water testing laboratories, located in some government hospitals, to enhance periodic monitoring of drinking water.
- Cooperation with the medical and nursing unions, and the Lebanese Association for Bacterial Diseases, in order to hold training courses for health workers on the treatment of infected cases, and methods of combating infection, especially inside health institutions.
- Cooperate with relevant ministries, especially energy and water, interior, municipalities and environment, in order to provide safe water and monitor sanitation.
A Crisis Cell has been formed including experts and specialists to respond to the cholera outbreak and follow developments on a daily basis.
The Department of Public Health reminds that cholera is caused by a germ transmitted through drinking water or eating contaminated food, or from person to person through contaminated hands. The incubation period extends from 2 to 5 days. Symptoms include severe water diarrhea that causes complications that could lead to death if left untreated.
The Ministry of Public Health also recommends citizens and residents to adopt the following methods for cholera prevention:
• Do not drink or use unsafe water and it is recommended to drink water from bottled water bottles guaranteed by the source.
• Not drinking or eating from the same pots with others.
• Wash hands regularly with soap and water before preparing or eating food, and after using the toilet.
• Maintain personal hygiene and food hygiene.
• Cook food very well and eat immediately after cooking.
• See a doctor immediately in case of severe water diarrhea.
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