The cholera outbreak that broke out in December 2017 is still ongoing as of early October 2018. At least 6394 cases, including 42 deaths, have been reported. The most affected areas reportedly include Beledweyne (Hiiraan province), Jowhar (Hisrhabelle state), Kismayo (Lower Juba province), Afgoye (Lower Shebelle region), Merca (Lower Shebelle), and Banadir region. The outbreak has been spurred by limited access to safe water and poor sanitation throughout the affected regions.
Earlier in 2017, Somalia was hit by a larger cholera outbreak, with at least 78,000 reported cases and 1159 deaths across 16 regions.
Cholera is an infectious disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium that can induce acute diarrhea. 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 or planning travel to Somalia are strongly advised to receive cholera vaccinations, drink only bottled water, and consume only thoroughly cooked foods.