Between January and June 2005, 5 distinct cholera outbreaks occurred in Kenya. Overall, 990 cases and 25 deaths (2.5%) were reported. Four outbreaks occurred in towns along major highways, and 1 occurred in a refugee camp near the Sudanese border, accessible to Nairobi by daily flights. Matched case-control studies from 2 outbreaks showed that failure to treat drinking water and storing drinking water in wide-mouthed containers were significantly associated with disease. Isolates from all 5 outbreaks were Vibrio cholerae O1, Inaba serotype, and had genetically similar PFGE patterns of SfiI-digested chromosomal DNA. Linkage of the outbreak locations by major transportation routes, their temporal proximity, and similar PFGE patterns of isolates suggests the outbreaks might have been linked epidemiologically, showing the speed and distance of cholera spread in countries like Kenya with pockets of susceptible populations connected by modern transportation. Prevention measures remain implementation of point-of-use safe water systems and case finding and referral.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases