WHO reports very high risk of cholera spread in the world
The World Health Organisation has declared a high risk of the spread of cholera, and its recent bulletin indicates that, as of March 20th, new cases of infection continued to be reported from 24 states, TASS informs
“Since the last disease outbreak news on the global cholera situation was published on February 11th, 2023, the global situation has further deteriorated with four new countries reporting outbreaks. In total, 24 countries reported cases as of March 20th,” the WHO said.
According to the report, the risk of cholera spread is assessed as high – taking into account the current situation.
Since the beginning of 2023, cholera outbreaks have spread in south-east Africa. Experts are concerned, in particular, about a potential deterioration of the situation in Malawi and Mozambique in March due to cyclone Freddy. New outbreaks have also been reported in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa, as well as in the Horn of Africa region since the start of the year.
"The overall capacity to respond to the multiple and simultaneous outbreaks continues to be strained due to the global lack of resources, including shortages of the oral cholera vaccine," the organisation noted.
WHO is particularly concerned about a high cholera case-fatality ratio, since many countries ‘reported higher mortality rates than in previous years’. In 2021, the average mortality rate averaged 1.9 percent in the world, and it stood at 2.9 percent in Africa, which represents ‘a significant excess of the permissible level’ of less than 1 percent and ‘is the highest rate recorded in more than a decade’.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.