Health officials have confirmed an outbreak of cholera in Blantyre with one case confirmed.
Blantyre District Health Office spokesperson, Chrissy Banda, said on top of the case which was confirmed last week in Bangwe Township, her office is investigating three more suspected cholera cases in the commercial capital.
“The one from Bangwe is the only confirmed case but we are waiting for results of three other cases which were treated as cholera suspects. We should have results of the lab tests tomorrow [today],” she said.
Banda said the other suspected cases were recorded in Chilobwe and Mbayani townships.
Cholera is a condition in which one passes out watery stools and vomits heavily.
Bacteria called vibrio cholerae causes the disease which can kill within hours if untreated.
Cholera breakout normally when people do not follow good hygiene and sanitation practices such as washing hands regularly and more especially after vising a toilet.
Banda said her office has put in place measures to stop the outbreak from spreading further.
“When you have one confirmed case in a district, that is an outbreak. We have an outbreak and we are engaging communities to follow good hygiene practices all the times,” she said.
Banda said her office is also distributing chlorine to treat drinking water.
Health experts also encourage people to cover food all the time, wash vegetables and fruits before eating to avoid cholera.
Blantyre City Council spokesperson, Anthony Kasunda, said the council banned sale of cooked foods on the street during this rainy season to avoid waterborne diseases such as cholera.
Malawi registered one of the worst cholera outbreaks in 2017/2018 rainy season when 1,000 people were affected and 30 died.
Since then, the government has been administering cholera vaccine in most of the cholera-prone areas of the country.