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Cholera in Democratic Republic of the Congo

31 Jul 2017

UNICEF has reported 15 456 suspected cases of cholera, including 441 deaths up to the week ending 9 July 2017 in Democratic Republic of the Congo.  

Currently, there is an outbreak in North Kivu province, affecting mainly Goma, Karisimbi, Nyirango and Binza with 1 464 cases including 12 deaths in the past 4 weeks.

Advice to 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