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01 Apr 2019 | 08:00 AM UTC

Mozambique: Reported cholera cases double in Mozambique March 31 /update 11

Mozambique News Alert

Number of reported cholera cases double and first fatality recorded in Mozambique as of March 31; further spread of disease likely in coming weeks

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/31/2019, 12:00 AM until 4/7/2019, 11:59 PM (Africa/Maputo). COUNTRY/REGION Biera, Mozambique, Sofala, Zambezia province, Manicaland province (Zimbabwe), Southern Region

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Health officials reported 517 cases of cholera along with the first fatality from the disease on Sunday, March 31. Continued spread of infectious and water-borne diseases are likely in the coming weeks, particularly malaria and cholera. Access to clean water, sanitation, medical supplies, and food supplies continue to be limited. Water levels in Mozambique are continuing to recede, though new flooding is possible for Marroumeau, Nhamatanda, and Muanza districts in Sofala province and Mopeia and Maganja da Costa districts in Zambezia province. Transportation disruptions persist through central Mozambique, though some roads have reopened.

The total death toll from Tropical Cyclone Idai stands at 746 with approximately 500 people killed in Mozambique along with more than 1500 injured. At least 1.85 million people in Mozambique are affected by the storm and around 1.1 million more in Zimbabwe and Malawi.


Tropical Cyclone Idai first made landfall in Mozambique on March 4 and moved over southern Malawi shortly after forming before moving back over the Mozambique Channel. It then strengthened to the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane. Idai made its second landfall near Beira late on March 14 and moved inland over central Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe.

Cholera is typically spread via infected water supplies and induces acute diarrhea leading to severe dehydration, frequently resulting in death. The risk of death is greatest among people with compromised immune systems, such as malnourished children or those living with HIV. However, even among healthy adults, cholera can be fatal within a matter of hours.  


Individuals in Mozambique, as well as Malawi and Zimbabwe, are advised to take preventative measures against the spread of disease, particularly cholera (e.g. drink bottled water, consume thoroughly cooked food, take vaccinations, etc.) and malaria (e.g. sleep with mosquito nets, take malaria medication, wear protective clothing during nighttime and dusk hours, etc.).Additionally, individuals should ensure adequate supplies of food, clean water, and medical supplies, anticipate flooding and associate transportation disruptions, limited access to healthcare and other basic necessities, and remember that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.


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