Tag Archives: cholera

The life and death struggle against cholera in Yemen – WHO

The life and death struggle against cholera in Yemen. WHO, July 2017.

Cholera continues to spread in Yemen, causing more than 390 000 suspected cases of the disease and more than 1800 deaths since 27 April.

WHO and its partners are responding to the cholera outbreak in Yemen, working closely with UNICEF, local health authorities and others to treat the sick and stop the spread of the disease. cholera

Each of these cholera cases is a person with a family, a story, hopes and dreams. In the centres, where patients are treated, local health workers work long hours, often without pay, to fight off death and help their patients make a full recovery.

Read the complete article.

Cholera Hitches A Ride On The Backs Of Soft-Shell Turtles

Cholera Hitches A Ride On The Backs Of Soft-Shell Turtles. NPR, June 26, 2017.

You can catch cholera from drinking contaminated water.

You can catch it from raw or undercooked shellfish.

And you can catch it from soft-shell turtles.

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Cholera bacteria can colonize the outer surfaces of the Chinese soft-shell turtle, a species that’s found in parts of Asia. Frank Greenaway/Getty Images

That’s the finding of a study published this month by scientists at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. And it’s a particular concern in China and many other countries in East Asia, where turtle meat is often used in stews and soups.

The researchers found that the bacterium that causes cholera, Vibrio cholerae, can colonize many of the outer surfaces of a soft-shell turtle, including its shell, legs, neck and calipash — a gelatinous material just underneath the shell and highly prized as a delicacy. The bacteria can also live in turtles’ intestines. The study was published in the scientific journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Although China has relatively few cholera cases compared to other countries, several small outbreaks of cholera are linked to soft-shell turtles every year, often at rural banquets — a troubling sign, considering that turtle consumption in the country has grown to somewhere between 220 million and 330 million pounds per year.

“We found that soft-shell turtles really can carry Vibrio cholerae and cause cholera outbreaks,” said Meiying Yan, one of the study’s authors. “The surface of the turtle was the most important source of Vibrio cholerae O139.” O139 is a strain of cholera circulating in Asia that was discovered in 1992.

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How El Niño forecasts can help prevent cholera deaths in Africa

How El Niño forecasts can help prevent cholera deaths in Africa. The Conversation, May 14, 2017.

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Pit latrine in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Access to clean water and sanitation are key to preventing cholera epidemics. D. Schafer, SuSanA/Flickr, CC

Since it first emerged from the Ganges River delta 200 years ago, cholera has killed tens of millions of people around the world. It causes acute diarrhea that can kill quickly without proper treatment. Before the 1970s it was not unusual for healthy adults to die of dehydration within days of infection, despite drinking large amounts of water.

By some estimates, over a billion people worldwide live in areas where there is risk of cholera, and hundreds of thousands die every year. But when people have access to clean water, appropriate treatment or vaccine, the risk of cholera is greatly reduced. With well-trained medical staff and supplies, appropriate and timely treatment of cholera patients can ensure that almost no one dies.

In a recent study, our group sought to understand how weather changes caused by El Niño impact cholera risk in Africa, where most cholera deaths occur. El Niño events can now be forecast as much as a year in advance, so knowing this relationship may help forecast where cholera outbreaks are most likely to occur.

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Recent news on cholera outbreaks

May 9 – Yemen war: Surge in cholera outbreak kills 34 – WHO – The World Health Organisation says 2,022 suspected cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) were reported between 27 April and 7 May.

May 9 – IOM Responds as Cholera Outbreak Spreads in South Sudan – Relief agencies are responding to cholera outbreaks across the country, with nine counties currently reporting active transmission, including three in Jonglei alone.

May 9 – Haiti sees decrease in suspected cholera cases – (PAHO) says the number of suspected cholera cases reported in this French-speaking Caribbean country, up to April 8, 2017, has decreased when compared to the same periods in 2015 and 2016.In its latest report, PAHO says to date 4,871 suspected cholera cases have been reported in Haiti, including 69 deaths. This represents a 60 and 61 per cent decrease compared to the 12,373 and 12,226 suspected cholera cases reported during the same period in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

May 5 – As rainy season starts, UN health agency warns of cholera outbreak in drought-hit Somalia – Somalia is suffering from the largest cholera outbreak in the past five years and the number of people killed is expected to double by the end of June, the United Nations health agency. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported close to 32,000 cases of cholera, including 618 deaths, since the beginning of the year.

May 6 – Nagpur – After 4 years, cholera makes a comeback –  After a lull of four years, cholera, the deadliest of all water borne diseases has raised its ugly head again. About 31 positive cases of cholera have been recorded between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.

May 1 – Ghana – Health Service reminds regional directors to be alert for cholera outbreak –  The Ghana Health Service has reminded of its cholera alert to all regional health directors and warned of the risk of an outbreak in 2017, has increased by the onset of the rains and potential flooding in some communities.

 

A Photographer’s Journey Into Haiti’s Cholera Crisis – National Geographic

A Photographer’s Journey Into Haiti’s Cholera Crisis. National Geographic, December 13, 2016.

After Hurricane Matthew hit, a silent killer struck the fragile country—again

The same rains that were spreading cholera across southern Haiti were blocking Andrea Bruce from getting to the story.

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The Elise Adventure Morija Church was completely swept away during Hurricane Matthew. Residents still hold services under a tent on the church’s foundation.

The National Geographic photographer had arrived a few weeks after Hurricane Matthew struck the island in October to document a new surge of cholera cases spreading across some of the country’s most remote areas.

When Bruce reached the mountainous epicenter of the cholera crisis, a town called Rendel, she found crumbled homes, some with just a door frame or a single piece of furniture left standing. Residents were scrapping together small shacks from the rubble.

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U.N. Admits Role In Haiti Cholera Outbreak That Has Killed Thousands

U.N. Admits Role In Haiti Cholera Outbreak That Has Killed Thousands | Source: NPR, Aug 18 2016 |

In the fall of 2010, months after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, a new disaster began: a cholera outbreak that killed thousands of people and continues to sicken people across the country.

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Cholera patients are treated at the Cholera Treatment Center in the Carrefour area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in December 2014. The Caribbean country’s cholera outbreak started in 2010. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

Experts determined that the source of the disease was a U.N. peacekeeping camp. And now, nearly six years later, the United Nations has admitted it played some role in the deadly outbreak.

At a briefing Thursday, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said that over the course of the past year, “the U.N. has become convinced that it needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.”

He said the U.N. would announce new actions to address the issue within the next two months.

“Our legal position on this issue has not changed,” Haq said, adding that the U.N. was not describing any of its actions as “reparations.”

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WASHplus – A Surprise Inoculation Against Cholera

A Surprise Inoculation Against Cholera, 2016. WASHplus.

Communities that embraced the WASHplus and Kenya Ministry of Health community-led total sanitation-plus approach appear to have protected themselves against cholera during a recent epidemic.