On Friday, January 18, health authorities reported an outbreak of cholera in Haut-Katanga province, including in its capital Lubumbashi. According to local health authorities, at least 1300 cases, including 64 related deaths, have been reported since August 2018. Further spread of the disease is possible in the near term.
Cholera, an infectious disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium, is endemic to the DRC and has become a major public health issue throughout the country since the outbreak began in 2017. Cholera is typically spread via infected water supplies and induces acute diarrhea leading to severe dehydration, frequently resulting in death.
Between January and November 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) registered at least 857 deaths among the more than 25,000 recorded cholera cases.
To reduce the risk of contracting cholera, wash hands regularly, drink only bottled or purified water, and avoid eating raw or undercooked foods. Individuals who believe they may have contracted cholera should seek immediate medical attention.
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