06 FEBRUARY 2019







The Count by Country-Reported DEATHS Varied reporting periods January 2018-January 2019

  • Burundi                                                        2
  • Cameroon                                                  58
  • DRC Congo                                            1042
  • Kenya                                                           2
  • Niger                                                           78
  • Tanzania                                                       1
  • Uganda                                                         2
  • Zimbabwe                                                   68
  • Angola                                                          2
  • Total Deaths                                             1255




About Cholera

  • Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae
  • Cholera remains a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development
  • Researchers have estimated that every year, there are roughly 1.3 to 4.0 million cases, and 21 000 to 143 000 deaths worldwide due to cholera  (WHO)



  • Cholera is an extremely virulent disease that can cause severe acute watery diarrhoea
  • It takes between 12 hours and 5 days for a person to show symptoms after ingesting contaminated food or water
  • Cholera affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated
  • Most people infected with V. cholerae do not develop any symptoms
  • Bacteria are present in their faeces for 1-10 days after infection and are shed back into the environment, potentially infecting other people
  • A minority develop acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration
  • This can lead to death if left untreated   (WHO)


Prevention & Control

  • A multifaceted approach is key to control cholera, and to reduce deaths
  • A combination of surveillance, water, sanitation and hygiene, social mobilisation, treatment, and oral cholera vaccines are used   (WHO)



  • Prompt administration of oral rehydration solution (ORS)
  • The WHO/UNICEF ORS standard sachet is dissolved in 1 litre (L) of clean water
  • Adult patients may require up to 6 L of ORS to treat moderate dehydration on the first day
  • Severely dehydrated patients are at risk of shock and require the rapid administration of intravenous fluids
  • Appropriate antibiotics to diminish the duration of diarrhoea
  • Oral rehydration should be available in communities, in addition to larger treatment centres that can provide intravenous fluids and 24 hour care
  • With early and proper treatment, the case fatality rate should remain below 1%.
  • Zinc is an important adjunctive therapy for children under 5, which also reduces the duration of diarrhoea and may prevent future episodes of other causes of acute watery diarrhoea
  • Breastfeeding should also be promoted   (WHO)



  • Promote the adoption of appropriate hygiene practices such as hand-washing with soap
  • Safe preparation and storage of food and safe disposal of the faeces of children   (WHO)
  • Funeral practices for individuals who die from cholera must be adapted to prevent infection among attendees


Oral Vaccines

  • Currently there are three WHO pre-qualified oral cholera vaccines (OCV): Dukoral®, Shanchol™, and Euvichol-Plus®. All three vaccines require two doses for full protection
  • Based on the available evidence
  • OCV should be used in areas with endemic cholera, in humanitarian crises with high risk of cholera, and during cholera outbreaks; always in conjunction with other cholera prevention and control strategies
  • Vaccination should not disrupt the provision of other high priority health interventions to control or prevent cholera outbreaks   (WHO)


WHO Fact Sheet-Cholera