WHO update on cholera in 2018

November 29, 2019 – Weekly Epidemiological Record

An excerpt – While the true global disease burden is not entirely captured by annual reporting of cholera epidemiological indicators by Member States to WHO, the overall number of cholera cases was 60% lower in 2018 than in 2017. who

The decrease in the global cholera burden is attributable to a large reduction in the number of cases in Yemen and significant decreases in other countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Somalia and South Sudan.

Overall, in 2018, 34 countries reported 499 447 cholera cases and 2990 cholera deaths to WHO, with a case-fatality rate (CFR) of 0.6% (Figure 1, Map 1 and Table 1).

Africa – Overall, in 2018, 34 countries reported 499 447 cholera cases and 2990 cholera deaths to WHO, with a case-fatality rate (CFR) of 0.6% (Figure 1, Map 1 and Table 1). After exclusion of cases reported in Yemen (where reporting is imprecise), the total numbers of cases and deaths reported globally in 2018 were 128 121 and 2485, respectively, a 34% decrease in the number of cases and a 27% decrease in that of deaths from 2017. The case load represents the fewest cases reported worldwide since 2004, when there were 101 383 cases (with 2345 deaths).

The epidemiology of cholera on the African continent showed the typical regional tendency. In West Africa, cholera transmission was high in Nigeria (with 45 000 cases in 2018 and only 12 000 in 2017), with subsequent spill-over into Cameroon and Chad. Other countries in the West African region saw no cholera cases, and only 2 cases were reported in Liberia.

Middle East and Asia – As in 2017, Yemen reported by far the most cholera cases in a single country in 2018, with 371 326 cases and 505 deaths (Figure 2). This nevertheless represented a great improvement over the previous year, with a 64% decrease in the number of cases and a 78% decrease in the number of deaths. While the way in which cholera cases were reported changed during the year, the decreases in numbers of cases and deaths represented greater mobilization by the Government and partners in improving water, sanitation and hygiene and in providing adequate medical care of cases.

The Americas – In Haiti, a strategy for an integrated rapid response to outbreaks resulted in 2018 in the fewest cases since the start of the cholera epidemic in 2010 (Figure 2). The Dominican Republic continues to report relatively few cases, and the number is decreasing over time, in parallel with the numbers in Haiti.

WHO Press release, December 19, 2019 – Drop in cholera cases worldwide, as key endemic countries report gains in cholera control. WHO, December 19, 2019.

An excerpt – The number of cholera cases decreased globally by 60% in 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in an issue of the November 2019 Weekly Epidemiological Record that points to an encouraging trend in cholera prevention and control in the world’s major cholera hotspots, including Haiti, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

There were 499 447 cases of cholera and 2990 deaths in 2018, according to reports from 34 countries. While outbreaks are still ongoing in various countries, the case load represents a significant downward trend in cholera transmission that has continued into 2019, according to data collected by WHO.

“The Global Roadmap provides clear guidance for how to prevent and, ultimately, to eliminate cholera. Every death from cholera is preventable with the tools we have today,” said Dr Tedros.

The new report shows several countries, including Zambia, South Sudan,United Republic of Tanzania, Somalia, Bangladesh, and Nigeria have made significant progress in developing national action plans within the framework of the Global Roadmap strategy.

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