The National – Friday, December 31, 2010
By ELIZABETH MIAE
A STAFF member at the Port Moresby General Hospital’s cholera treatment centre (CTC) reportedly became ill after coming into contact with a patient’s faeces and vomit on Wednesday.
This happened as people with cholera-like symptoms from the city and parts of Central continue to go in numbers to the CTC for treatment since last Friday.
The 12-bed centre has been full since the start of the long weekend with patients experiencing severe diarrhoea.
Staff had to work around the clock to treat those patients and attend to new admissions.
With the New Year tomorrow, health workers expect more patients as cholera was now widespread in the city.
The centre said at this time, the main mode of transmission would be through contaminated food as celebrations continued from last week.
NCD cholera task force team leader Dr Timothy Pyakalyia said the size of the ward inside CTC allowed for an extra five or six patients but it would be a struggle for staff if there were more than 18.
He said they were bracing themselves for the worst as people feast and drink to welcome the New Year.
Pyakalyia added that by now people should be aware that cholera was present in the city and all they had to do was practice safe hygiene to prevent contracting it.
As of yesterday morning, nine people were admitted, bringing the number of admissions to 273 for this month.
He said the problem with cholera was that 80% of people who carried the bacteria did not show symptoms while the other 20% showed all the symptoms requiring treatment.
Pyakalyia cautioned people as the 80% group could easily infect them through their ignorance of safe hygiene.