West, central Africa in one of worst cholera epidemics: UN

October 11, 2011

The west and central Africa region is facing one of the worst cholera epidemics in its history, with over 85,000 cases reported leading to 2,466 deaths this year, the UN children's agency warned Tuesday.

"The size and scale of the outbreaks means the region is facing one of the biggest epidemics in its history," said a UNICEF spokeswoman.

"The most significant increases in 2011 are in Chad, where it is the largest outbreak recorded, in Cameroon where nine out of 10 districts are reporting cases and in western where case fatality rate is above five percent," she added.

In some districts, fatality rates are as high as 22 percent.

UN agencies also noted that outbreaks were occurring in places where cholera was not endemic.

"You have cases happening outside of a typical cholera season, you also have them occurring in a wider .

"In central Africa, they just declared a . They haven't had cholera in years. This means that people are less aware of how to prevent or respond to an outbreak of cholera," the spokeswoman said.

In addition, high are being recorded in places where cholera is not endemic.

"In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we have this year outbreaks in provinces that we have not seen in the last 10 years," said a WHO spokesman.

"There we see a case fatality ratio much higher than in provinces where cholera was endemic like north and south Kivu," he added.

Explore further: Cholera vaccine could protect affected communities

Related Stories

Cholera vaccine could protect affected communities

November 27, 2007

A vaccine used to protect travelers from cholera, an infection characterized by diarrhea and severe dehydration, could also be used effectively among those living in cholera-prone (endemic) areas, according to a research ...

Cholera in Africa spreading at 'alarming' rate

September 30, 2010

(AP) -- An alarming number of new cholera cases have been reported in the West African nations of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, an international aid agency said Thursday.

UN appeals for $164M to combat Haiti cholera

November 12, 2010

(AP) -- The United Nations asked for $164 million Friday to fight the cholera outbreak in Haiti that has already claimed 724 lives and is expected to continue spreading for up to a year.

Cholera kills four, infects 400 in Burundi

August 22, 2011

Cholera has killed at least four people in an outbreak in the past three weeks in western Burundi, where more than 400 people are infected, a health ministry official said Monday.

Recommended for you

Team discovers how Zika virus causes fetal brain damage

August 24, 2016

Infection by the Zika virus diverts a key protein necessary for neural cell division in the developing human fetus, thereby causing the birth defect microcephaly, a team of Yale scientists reported Aug. 24 in the journal ...

Zika infection may affect adult brain cells

August 18, 2016

Concerns over the Zika virus have focused on pregnant women due to mounting evidence that it causes brain abnormalities in developing fetuses. However, new research in mice from scientists at The Rockefeller University and ...

Immune breakthrough: Unscratching poison ivy's rash

August 23, 2016

We all know that a brush with poison ivy leaves us with an itchy painful rash. Now, Monash University and Harvard researchers have discovered the molecular cause of this irritation. The finding brings us a step closer to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.