Cholera cases increase

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THE cholera and dysentery situation in Madang has worsened, with 45 more patients admitted between Monday and yesterday.
This brings to 237 the number of people admitted to the temporary cholera treatment centre at the Modilon General Hospital.
These are termed as cases of acute watery dysentery and presumptive cholera since an outbreak was announced at the weekend.
As of 11am yesterday, the Modilon cholera and dysentery clinical response team reported that the number of patients has been increasing since the epidemic was first reported two weeks ago.
Team coordinator Dr Sibauk Bieb told The National that more people were coming each day but there have been no deaths so far, except for an old man who died prior to the outbreak.
Dr Bieb said since the declaration of an outbreak in the province, all cases reported and referred to the hospital for acute dysentery were treated as cholera because not all stool sample testing was done in the province to confirm the result.
He said of the first 15 samples sent to Port Moresby, eight had been confirmed as cholera cases.
All patients admitted were from the Sisiak area except for two – one from the Kerema Compound and the other from Newtown area in Madang.
Dr Bieb said he had ordered 16 cartons of Waswas soap, 5,000 collapsible water containers and 16 water purification units to be distributed to the affected households in the Sisiak area.
He added that as a quarantine precaution, people going in and out of the wards at the treatment centre were sprayed with detergents to avoid further spread of the disease.