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France sends doctors to tackle Mayotte cholera outbreak

Scanning electron microscope image of Vibrio cholerae. Credit: Wikipedia

France has sent 18 more doctors and nurses to its Indian Ocean island of Mayotte to help contain a cholera outbreak, Health Minister Frederic Valletoux announced on Wednesday.

Authorities on the island last week said they had identified 26 cases of cholera, stretching Mayotte's care capabilities to the limit.

Valletoux will visit Mayotte from May 9-10 "to bring his support to the teams there and to meet the local health authorities", his team said.

The extra medical staff will join 49 reservists already working on Mayotte to help tackle the outbreak.

After patient numbers doubled in 48 hours, the medical staffing situation at the Mayotte main hospital was "highly critical", Olivier Brahic, the head of the island's ARS health authority, said on Sunday.

Cholera is an infectious disease typically causing severe diarrhea, vomiting and , which spreads easily under insufficient sanitation conditions.

Mayotte's imported cases have arrived mostly from the neighboring Comoros, which has been battling a cholera epidemic since the start of the year.

Many migrants travel through the Comoros on their way to Mayotte from the Democratic Republic of Congo, itself facing a cholera epidemic that killed hundreds last year.

© 2024 AFP

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