The government of South Sudan announced on Wednesday, February 7, that the recent cholera outbreak in the country has ended. According to health officials, no new cases of cholera have been reported since December 18, 2017. Between June 2016 and December 2017, 436 people died of the illness out of a total 20,438 confirmed cases.
Cholera, an infectious disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria, is endemic to the country. It 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 low immunity, such as malnourished children or those living with HIV. However, even among healthy adults, cholera can be fatal within a matter of hours.
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.
More generally, many Western governments advise against non-essential travel to South Sudan. Certain regions should be particularly avoided, including the states of Unity and Upper Nile, the north of Warrap state, parts of Eastern and Central Equatoria states, and areas along the border with the Central African Republic, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. If travel is necessary, ensure that proper security protocols are in place.