Paul Edward Okello | Lilian Bulage | Alex Ario Riolexus | Daniel Kadobera | Benon Kwesiga | Henry Kajumbula | Muhamed Mulongo | Eunice Jennifer Namboozo | Godfrey Pimundu | Isaac Ssewanyana | Charles Kiyaga | Steven Aisu | Bao-Ping Zhu
Date of Publication:
BMC Infectious Diseases
A cholera outbreak started on 29 February in Bwikhonge Sub-county, Bulambuli District in Eastern Uganda. Local public health authorities implemented initial control measures. However, in late March, cases sharply increased in Bwikhonge Sub-county. We investigated the outbreak to determine its scope and mode of transmission, and to inform control measures.
We identified 108 suspected cases (attack rate: 1.3%, 108/8404), including 7 confirmed cases. The case-control study revealed that 78% (78/100) of case-patients compared with 51% (51/100) of control-persons usually collected drinking water from the nearby Cheptui River (ORMH = 7.8, 95% CI = 2.7–22); conversely, 35% (35/100) of case-patients compared with 54% (54/100) of control-persons usually collected drinking water from borehole pumps (ORMH = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.13–0.65). The index case in Bwikhonge Sub-county had onset on 29 February but the outbreak had been on-going in the neighbouring sub-counties in the previous 3 months. V. cholera was isolated in 2 of the 7 river water samples collected from different locations.
We concluded that this cholera outbreak was caused by drinking contaminated water from Cheptui River. We recommended boiling and/or treating drinking water, improved sanitation, distribution of chlorine tablets to the affected villages, and as a long-term solution, construction of more borehole pumps. After implementing preventive measures, the number of cases declined and completely stopped after 6th April.