Cholera alert in Lae

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The National

SEVEN victims, believed to be suffering from cholera, have been rushed by dinghy from Wasu to the Angau Memorial Hospital in Lae yesterday.
And as a result, Angau has been placed on high alert and was declared a disease command and control centre.
Angau has also placed a disaster management plan into operation with the assistance of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and the Medecins Sans Frontieres.
The move is aimed at controlling the outbreak of cholera in Wasu in the Tewai-Siassi district and, apparently, dysentery and influenza outbreak in Menyamya.
Angau’s acting chief executive officer, Dr Polapoi Chalau, said yesterday the plan would complement the work and investigation now undertaken by deputy Health secretary Dr Paison Dakulala and the Morobe provincial administration.All over Lae yesterday afternoon, health awareness workers were going around the city’s markets and bus stops telling people to take care.
They were distributing pamphlets and telling the people that cholera, as well as dysentery, were diseases that were “worse than AIDS” because of the extremely quick rate of death after infection.
Angau has tightened its security since the seven from Wasu were admitted to the emergency unit.
Efforts to enter the hospital last night were denied.
Security personnel at the entrance said visitors were also asked to limit the number of people going in to see sick relatives.
Dr Chalau had issued a grave warning at mid-day yesterday.
“Anyone suspected to be inflicted with the disease should undergo further tests and medical check-ups and seek treatment as soon as possible.
“It is strongly recommended that individuals must take common sense precautions,” he said.
“If you are not aware of different aspects of the diseases, make an effort to go to your nearest clinics and get informed.”
By late afternoon, Dr Chalau and Morobe health division officials Dr Likei Theo and Micah Yawing were meeting with provincial executives.
It is understood Dr Dakulala was also present.
In the meantime, provincial administration and health officials who had gone into Menyamya on Wednesday had returned.
They will be travelling again to Menyamya today.
There are no means of communication with Menyamya except by VHF radio.