Thirty seven people have been admitted to Beledweyne Hospital following a cholera outbreak in the central Somalia region of Hiraan.
Beledweyne district commissioner, Mohamed Osman Abdi said the number was likely to rise because more patients with cholera symptoms were being admitted.
Abdi linked the outbreak to poor hygiene saying, “We have noticed symptoms of cholera which is a normal infection that break out during dry seasons as people tend to drink dirty water.”
He said thirty seven patients are currently receiving treatment at Beledweyne Hospital.
More suspected and unconfirmed cases have also been detected in other parts of the district.
“We are still at the early stage of the outbreak,” he warned.
He was optimistic they will end the problem within the next two weeks.
Another medical officer at the hospital said the number of patients was increasing daily.
“We have just received 30 patients on Friday alone and the isolation ward is full forcing us to set beds in the corridors to accommodate the increasing number,” said the medical officer.
He said the cholera outbreak had been caused by poor hygiene and contamination in illegal food kiosks that use contaminated water.
He said the bad hygiene, coupled with poor waste disposal, were some of the factors contributing to cholera in the town.
Cholera is transmitted through drinking water or eating food contaminated with faeces or dirty hands.
After a short incubation period of two to five days, the disease causes severe diarrhoea, draining the body of its water. The sudden and dramatic loss of fluid is often fatal.