LUSAKA, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- At least 12 fishermen at a fishing camp in Zambia's central Kapiri Mposhi district died from a suspected cholera outbreak and some others were admitted at a local health center, the state-run news agency reported on Wednesday.
The water-borne disease has affected Lukanga Swamps, killing 12 fishermen between Monday and Wednesday, a traditional leader told the Zambia News and Information Service (ZANIS).
At least 15 other people were admitted at a local hospital.
Agness Chimbuleni, the traditional leader, said the men died after suffering from severe diarrhea and vomiting.
The disease broke out last week and health authorities took long to respond to the outbreak, which has resulted in deaths, she added. "We are in a crisis and neglected here we have lost lives from cholera and until Monday that's when the Ministry of Health responded when the disease broke-out over a week ago," she was quoted as saying by ZANIS.
The deceased are being promptly buried at a cholera-designated graveyard in the area, she added.
But health officials have said health officials have been dispatched to the area to take samples to determine whether the disease is cholera, according to ZANIS.
Kapiri Mposhi District Medical Officer Dr. Charles Mwinuna said so far no deaths have been recorded at the local health center, adding that all the deaths reported so far were coming from the fishing camps.
"We have not had any deaths of patients from the clinic the deaths are being recorded from the fishing camps on the swamps where it is hard for us to reach because we do not have boats but precautions are being taken that the disease does not spread to other areas", he said.
Cholera is common in Zambia due to contaminated water wells which ordinary people use for their drinking water. Recently, another fishing camp in the northern part of the country experienced a cholera outbreak in which over 100 people were affected while two died.