Cholera under-reported, infects millions a year – WHO

Cholera infects millions of people each year, 10 times the number of cases reported by countries who fear losing tourist or trade income by acknowledging the real scale of an outbreak, experts said

Claire-Lise Chaignat, cholera coordinator at the World Health Organisation, said [in the Feb 2009 issue of WHO Bulletin] the diarrhoeal disease that is spreading fast in Zimbabwe is also under-reported because the stigma attached to it means people often fail to seek treatment.

[…] In 2007, governments reported just 178,000 cases of cholera, which is spread mostly through contaminated food and water. According to Chaignat, about 120,000 people most likely died of cholera that year, compared to the 4,031 official toll reported to the WHO.

Angola, Sudan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Liberia, South Africa and Madagascar have all had large outbreaks in the past decade, and Iraq had more than 4,000 cases last year.

[…] WHO disease control expert Francesco Checchi said: “Unfortunately, the cholera epidemic [in Zimbabwe] has struck at a time when most Zimbabweans are unable to purchase salt and sugar [needed for oral rehydration solutions (ORS)]”.

[…] Major hotspots for cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases include Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and much of Africa.

Source: Laura MacInnis, Reuters, 02 Feb 2009

One response to “Cholera under-reported, infects millions a year – WHO

  1. tatenda murehwa

    i need more of water and sanitation projects done anywhere in the world.Your research ideas are good and educative.Keep it up!!

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