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Cholera in Africa

26 Jan 2023

According to the World Health Organization, outbreaks of cholera are continuing in Africa. The following countries are most affected:

Burundi: from 1 January 2023 to 15 January 2023, a total of 81 suspected cholera cases (1 death) were reported from Budjumbura North, Bujumbura Centre, Bujumbura South, Cibitoke and Isale Districts.

Cameroon: from October 2021 to 5 January 2023, 15 117 suspected cholera cases (302) deaths (CFR 2.0%) have been reported since October 2021 were reported from 8 Regions and 52 Districts of the country.

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): from the beginning of 2022 to 27 November 2022), 14 290 suspected cholera cases (262 deaths) were recorded in 17 provinces of DRC. Most of these were reported from South Kivu, Haut-Lomami, Tanganyika and North Kivu provinces. A new outbreak of cholera was declared in North Kivu province on 14 December 2022: from 27 November to 9 January 2023, there were 3 302 suspected cases of cholera (14 deaths) most of which were in Nyiragongo Health Zone.

Ethiopia: from 27 August 2022 to 15 January 2023, a total of 911 suspected cholera cases (27 deaths) have been reported from Oromia region (712 cases) and Somali Region (199 cases).

Kenya: from 19 October 2022 to 8 January 2023 a total of 3 939 cholera cases (70 deaths) have been reported from Garissa, Homa Bay, Kiambu, Kajiado, Kitui , Machakos, Meru, Murang’a, Nairobi, Nakuru, Nyeri and Tana River, Uasin Gishu and Wajir Counties.

Malawi: From 3 March 2022 to 20 January 2023, there have been 28 132 cholera cases (916 deaths) across 29 districts.

Mozambique: from 13 January to 28 December 2022 a total of 3 930 cases (21 deaths) have been reported from Niassa, Sofala and Zambezia provinces.

Nigeria: from 1 January to 27 November 2022 (EW 47), a total of 20 768 suspected cholera cases (498 deaths) has been reported from 31 states, mainly in the northwest and the northeast of the country. Borno, Taraba and Yobe have reported 75% of these cases.

South Sudan: from 19 March to 20 November 2022, 424 cholera cases (1 death)were reported from Unity State and Ruweng Administrative Area. Most of these cases (89%) were reported from the Bentiu internally displaces people camp.

Cholera is an infection spread mainly through food and water that can cause sudden watery diarrhoea.

Advice for Travellers

Cholera is rare in travellers. Mild cases may present as travellers' diarrhoea.

If you are travelling to a country where there is an outbreak of cholera, you should be aware how to:

A vaccine is available to protect against cholera. Since the risk to travellers is very low, the vaccine is only usually recommended for volunteers or humanitarian workers travelling to work in disaster relief situations.

See the fitfortravel Cholera page for further information.