The Ministry of Public Health announced the registration of two cases of cholera in Lebanon, in the Akkar Governorate, while Minister of Health Firas Al-Abyad confirmed that “the diagnosed cases of cholera are still limited,” while he expected “a rise in cases due to the outbreak in Syria,” stressing that “drugs are available.” The vaccine is linked to the situation of cases in the country, and coordination was coordinated with the World Health Organization.
Today, Lebanon is facing the threat of a cholera outbreak, after recording dozens of cases in Syria, which increases an additional burden on the health sector, two years after the outbreak of Corona, at a time when the country is suffering from the consequences of the stifling economic crisis.
In a press conference devoted to following up on the file, Al-Abyad asked citizens to contact the hotline 1787 for any question or suspicion of any case of cholera or when registering its symptoms.
He said, “We are cooperating with the unions, especially doctors and nurses, to conduct training courses for health workers to reach full preparedness in the event of an increase in the number of cholera cases.”
The condition of the cholera patient, announced by the Ministry yesterday, appears stable, while the patient is receiving treatment in the hospital, and is the first case in Lebanon since 1993 (the date of the last cholera outbreak).
Hassan Asal’s photo.
A second case of cholera was recorded in Akkar
The patient with cholera, the first confirmed case in Lebanon, in the Akkar governorate, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Abdullah Al-Rassi Governmental Hospital in Halba, and is subject to close health follow-up, and the health teams are investigating the condition of those around him to take the necessary health requirements.
The victim is a Syrian citizen, in his fifties, and a resident of a camp in Reyhanli – Benin.
It was reported that a second case had been recorded as a result of infection in one of the Lebanese who had contact with the aforementioned patient without knowing that he had cholera.
There is fear in many of the Akkari border areas with Syria, and in the Syrian displacement camps, of an outbreak of cholera cases due to the exchange of visits and meetings and the introduction of vegetables and fruits.
Medical sources also indicated that there are several diagnosed cases, such as diarrhea, and may be cholera cases, pending laboratory tests.
This matter needs serious follow-up by the competent health authorities and international organizations concerned with the affairs of the displaced, especially the United Nations Organization for the Affairs of the Displaced, the UNHCR. In addition to the importance of following special health instructions, paying attention to the necessity of avoiding mixing to prevent the spread of infection, and paying attention to personal hygiene and the safety of drinking water.
The health situation in Akkar
The governor of Akkar, attorney Imad al-Labki, is following up on the cholera cases confirmed so far in the governorate, which are 2, of a man in his fifties from the nationality and a Lebanese woman, in coordination with the Akkar Governorate Medical Center in the Ministry of Health and the administration of Dr. Abdullah al-Rassi Governmental Hospital, and with the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR through its official field in Akkar governorate.
It was learned that the close surroundings of the two cases had been isolated, and they are under observation, awaiting the results of laboratory tests.
In this context, an emergency plan has been launched to intensify the treatment of sanitary pits in hundreds of displacement camps scattered in the Akkar governorate, and research is underway to increase the amount of water supplied to these camps for domestic use to ensure personal hygiene. And launching an intensive awareness campaign in this regard in the camps and the host communities.
Health sources indicate that matters are still under control so far, and it is required not to neglect this emerging health reality, and to take it very seriously, and to be aware of not mixing with any patient who may be infected with cholera, and to inform the health references of any case to deal with it appropriately, and the necessity of Adhere to the health guidelines announced by the Ministry of Health, to limit the spread of the epidemic.
Hassan Asal’s photo.
What do we know about cholera?
Cholera is caused by a germ that is transmitted through drinking water or eating contaminated food, or from one person to another through contaminated hands. The incubation period of the disease ranges from 2 to 5 days. Symptoms include profuse watery diarrhea, causing complications that may lead to death if not treated.
The Ministry of Public Health recommended that citizens and residents adopt the following methods to prevent cholera:
– Do not drink or use unsafe water, and it is recommended to drink water from sealed bottles of water with a guaranteed source.
Not drinking or eating from the same utensils with others.
Wash hands with soap and water on a regular basis before preparing or eating foods, and after using the toilet.
Maintaining personal hygiene and food hygiene.
Cook food very well and eat it immediately after cooking it.
See a doctor immediately if profuse watery diarrhea appears.
Cholera is spreading in Syria
At least 39 people have died from cholera, which has been spreading in Syria since last month, according to a new toll of the Ministry of Health, at a time when the World Health Organization has warned that the situation is “alarmingly” worsening.
In Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters today: “In Syria, more than ten thousand suspected cases of cholera have been reported during the last six weeks.”
Since September, Syria has witnessed an outbreak of cholera in several governorates, for the first time since 2009.