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It was amoebiasis, not cholera outbreak at Upper Hill School, health officials say

Health officials have allayed the fear of a cholera outbreak at Upper Hill School in Nairobi. The Director, preventive and promotive health in Nairobi Carol Ngunu on Tuesday said it could be a case of amoebiasis and not cholera.

She said tests had been conducted on 20 students who were admitted at Savannah Healthcare and South B Hospital and 60 students who had been checked at Mbagathi Hospital and allowed to go back to school.

Dr Ngunu added that 11 students are still admitted and were expected to be discharged later on Tuesday as they are in stable condition.

The health officials have since collected samples of water and food from the school for more tests with the results expected by the end of this week.

Also read: Parents storm Upper Hill School following cholera outbreak

“Our initial test and what we treated for has been amoebiasis and so we are investigating what could have been the original cause or source of that infection,” she said.

“We as the health department have also taken the samples to culture for cholera; we did rapid tests and they turned negative.”

Amoebiasis, or amoebic dysentery, is an infection caused by a parasite that your body sheds through stool. When the parasite gets into your intestine, it can cause symptoms like cramping and diarrhoea and is treated with antibiotics.

Initially, reports indicated that 16 students were hospitalised over the weekend after a suspected cholera outbreak.

Also read: Cholera Alert – 16 students at Upper Hill School hospitalised

The update was provided by the Ministry of Education, which has raised the alarm over an acute water shortage that has struck schools within Nairobi County.

Reports indicated that several students began vomiting and complaining of stomach upsets after eating rice, beans and beef on Friday. The students said the meal had a foul smell.

The majority of those affected are form three students. Thirteen were admitted to South B Hospital and three to Savannah Hospital, while 60 were treated at Mbagathi Hospital and discharged.

On Tuesday, panicky parents attempted to pick up their children from the school after media reports on Monday night but they were barred.

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