Review cholera vaccine: WHO

HARARE - The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling for the review of the cholera vaccine following revelations that the infectious disease which broke out in Harare this month is multi-drug resistant.

WHO’s disease prevention and control officer Anderson Chimusoro told the Daily News yesterday that the specialised health agency of the United Nations had been advised by the ministry of Health and Child Care that from the tests carried out so far some of the samples show that the cholera cannot be effectively killed or inactivated by many of the medicines that it normally uses for the infection.

“If this be true as given, it may mean that if a patient who has cholera is given some of these medicines they may not bring about the desired results,” he said.

“We believe these are preliminary tests and more tests should be carried out on samples taken from more patients who are visiting the health facilities”.

According to Chimusoro, from the list of medicines that have been tested, some drugs are still effective and this includes some medicines that are already available in Zimbabwe for cholera and other infections.

“This being said, the primary treatment for cholera is replacing the fluids that the patients would have lost through diarrhoea and vomiting. Additionally, it would be good to advise the public that cholera is effectively treated by giving fluid either by drinking or through a drip for seriously ill patients,” he said.

“It is these seriously ill patients who may also be given antibiotics, but the absence of an antibiotic in the treatment of cholera does not necessarily leave the patients at risk,” he added.

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