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"Cholera Resurgence: 2022 Cases Surge in Africa and Asia"



  Oct 03, 2023

Cholera Cases Surge in 2022


Q1: What is cholera, and what causes it?

A1: Cholera is a water-borne disease caused by two strains of the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, primarily O1. O139 is responsible for rare outbreaks, mainly in Asia.
 

Q2: How has the number of cholera cases changed from 2021 to 2022?

A2: The world reported more than twice as many cholera cases in 2022 compared to 2021. The number of countries reporting at least 10,000 suspected and confirmed cases also doubled between these years.
 

Q3: Why has there been a surge in cholera cases in 2022?

A3: Several factors contribute to the increase in cholera cases, including the decline of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, limited investments in vulnerable populations' care, climate change, and conflict.
 

Q4: How does climate change contribute to the spread of cholera?

A4: Cholera transmission is linked to climate change, which can lead to floods, heatwaves, heavy rainfall, and warm waters with lower salinity—all conditions favorable for Vibrio cholerae. Climate change increases the likelihood of these events.
 

Q5: What is the impact of plastic pollution on cholera?

A5: Research suggests that Vibrio pathogens can adhere to microplastics, even in the open ocean. This adaptation to plastic may affect the distribution and persistence of Vibrio bacteria, potentially contributing to cholera cases.
 

Q6: How is the oral cholera vaccine response evolving in light of increasing cases?

A6: In response to the growing cholera burden, the recommended vaccination regime for the oral cholera vaccine has been reduced from two doses to one, while awaiting investments in manufacturing capacity.
 

Q7: Where are most cholera cases reported, and how has the distribution changed?

A7: The majority of cholera cases are reported in Africa and Asia. In 2022, cases in Africa were more spread out, with no single country reporting more than 25% of all cases. However, both the numbers of cases and deaths in various countries more than doubled between 2021 and 2022. Similarly, in Asia, some countries reported cases after a decade of absence.
 

Q8: How has the use of rapid diagnostic tests changed in cholera reporting?

A8: In 2022, 56% of countries reporting cholera cases used rapid diagnostic tests, compared to 20% in 2021. This indicates an increased use of these tests for more accurate and timely diagnosis.


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