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Sierra Leone - 83 cases of suspected food poisoning with 1 death after attending a graduation party

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  • Sierra Leone - 83 cases of suspected food poisoning with 1 death after attending a graduation party


    Week 31: 25 - 31 July 2022
    Data as reported by: 17:00; 31 July 2022

    Food Poisoning Sierra Leone

    83 cases
    1 Death
    1.2% CFR


    A total of 83 people are suspected to have been victims of food
    poisoning in Sierra Leone after attending a graduation party
    on 26 July 2022 with one person succumbing to their illness

    (case fatality rate: 1.2%). Approximately 150 people were in
    attendance at the event that occurred in the Nyandeyama section
    of Kenema City. Females have accounted for the majority of cases
    (58, 69.9%). The majority of people affected were also children
    under the age of 18 accounting for 57 cases (68.7%) including
    the individual that died who was a 14-month-old female child.
    Partygoers are reported to have consumed rice, cake, ginger
    beer, and water during the celebration. At the time of writing, the
    causative agent of the outbreak is still unknown.

    All cases except one (patient did not seek health care despite
    developing signs and symptoms) were admitted to Kenema
    Government Hospital where they were treated for their condition
    and as of 28 July 2022, 32 patients had been discharged.

    The most common symptoms among patients were general
    weakness, drowsiness, unconsciousness, vomiting, headaches,
    hallucinations, abdominal pain, and convulsions.


    A rapid response team including field epidemiology training
    program trainees was activated at the district level to conduct
    an investigation.

    A treatment centre was established at the Kenema
    Government Hospital.

    Investigated reported cases and ongoing surveillance system
    to identify more cases and potential contacts.

    An incident action plan was developed and presented to the
    District Medical Officer.

    Biological samples were collected from admitted patients
    and food samples were collected from the community
    where the event occurred to be transported to the reference
    laboratory in Freetown.

    A meeting with health partners was held to galvanize support
    at district level. Partners such as Medecins Sans Frontieres
    and the African Field Epidemiology Network are already
    providing support to the response.

    A radio program with the media is providing ongoing
    emergency information.


    An alleged food poisoning agent seemed to have caused the
    hospitalisation of more than 80 party attendees in Kenema City,
    Sierra Leone. While the signs and symptoms suffered seem
    severe, some experiencing such affects as convulsions and
    hallucinations, many of the patients have now recovered and
    have been discharged. Only one death has been reported thus far,
    however, patients are still being monitored. Case management of
    the high number of patients has been supported by partnering
    organizations in the country. While investigations on the causative
    agent are ongoing, only the symptoms of the patients have been
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Food Poisoning in Kenema, Eastern Sierra Leone: 84 suspected cases, 1 new admission, 1 new case detected and 34 discharged from hospital. See Situation Report (Today 28th July,2022)