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Cholera in Africa (Update 5)

29 May 2018

Cholera continues to be transmitted in African countries.

Angola  has reported  895 cases (15 deaths) from December 2017 to 08 April 2018. Cabinda and Uige provinces are affected.

Cameroon  reported a new outbreak of cholera on 24 May 2018 on the border with Nigeria. So far, three cases including one confirmed case have been reported in Mayo-Oulo.

Democratic Republic of the Congo  reported 70 829 cholera cases (1 551 deaths) from January 2017 to 15 April 2018.

Kenya  has reported 8 010 cases from January 2017 to 7 May 2018. This is an increase of 1 532 cholera cases since 24 April 2018.

Malawi  has reported 929 cases (30 deaths) from 01 January to 29 April 2018, an increase of 40 cases since 24 April 2018.

Nigeria  has reported 1 874 suspected cholera cases including 47 deaths from 01 January to 27 May 2018.  Most cases have been reported in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. There have been 1 006 cases (28 deaths) since 24 April 2018.

Somalia  has reported 3 280 cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea (21 deaths) from December 2017 to 13 May 2018. The areas affected are Beletweyne, Banadir, Kismayo, Jowhar, Bulo barde and Afgoye.

Tanzania  has reported 2 105 cholera cases (44 deaths) from 01 January to 20 May 2018.This is an increase of 660 cases (21 deaths) since 24 April 2018. Zanzibar has reported no cholera cases since 11 July 2017.

Uganda  declared a new cholera outbreak was declared on 15 February 2018. Most of those affected were displaced refugees from DR Congo in Hoima district. 2 169 cases (46 deaths) have been reported as of 30 April 2018. This is an increase of 78 cases (2 deaths) since 24 April 2018. A new outbreak of cholera was declared in Amudat district on 01 May 2018.

Zambia  has reported 5 721 cholera cases (113 deaths) from 04 October 2017 to 15 April 2018. This is an increase of 281 cases (4 deaths) since 24 April 2018. Most cases are in Lusaka city.

Zimbabwe  has reported 62 cases (3 deaths) from 07 April to 16 May 2018 in Stoneridge, a suburbe of Harare.

Advice for Travellers

Prevention is focused on ensuring safe water and food, particularly in countries where cholera is more common or where outbreaks occur (see individual country record). Food and drink to be wary of include untreated water, ice, shellfish, salads, unwashed fruit and vegetables.

Good personal hygiene is essential. Individuals should ensure that they wash their hands frequently, prior to eating and after visiting the bathroom.

A vaccine is available to protect against cholera but as the risk to most travellers is very low, it is only recommended in the following circumstances:

  • Volunteers/aid workers/medical personnel in disaster relief situations where cholera outbreaks likely.
  • Those travelling to work in slums/refugee camps, areas affected by natural disasters, or countries experiencing cholera outbreaks and where care with food and water is difficult or not possible.

For further information see Cholera.