Cholera Outbreak Is Now A Rising Epidemic In Africa

cholera bacteria

In a statement released by the health ministry of Cameroon, six people have died in Cameroon from a cholera outbreak that has infected 43 people since May.

“Cases of cholera were documented since May 2018 in four districts in the northern regions,” health minister Andre Mama Fouda said.

He said one case of the disease had been found in the capital Yaounde.

“From the moment the first cases were documented in the northern region, every measure was taken to contain the epidemic,” Fouda said.

In 2010, an outbreak of the disease killed more than 750 people across Cameroon.

Despite the stipulated Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) that was slated to be disseminated to over two million Africans, the rate at which cholera outbreaks occurs is still on the rise.

Just recently, in a school at Madaki, Benue state of Nigeria, two pupils died and over 27 hospitalized as a result of the cholera outbreak.

Cholera is caused by a bacterium transmitted through contaminated food or drinking water. It causes acute diarrhoea, with children particularly at risk. Diarrhoea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

Prevention methods against cholera include improved sanitation and access to clean water. Cholera vaccines that are given by mouth provide reasonable protection for about six months. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends focusing on prevention, preparedness, and response to combat the spread of cholera. They also stress the importance of an effective surveillance system.

Although cholera may be life-threatening, prevention of the disease is normally straightforward if proper sanitation practices are followed.