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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018 May 18;67(19):556-559. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6719a5.

Cholera Epidemic - Lusaka, Zambia, October 2017-May 2018.

Abstract

On October 6, 2017, an outbreak of cholera was declared in Zambia after laboratory confirmation of Vibrio cholerae O1, biotype El Tor, serotype Ogawa, from stool specimens from two patients with acute watery diarrhea. The two patients had gone to a clinic in Lusaka, the capital city, on October 4. Cholera cases increased rapidly, from several hundred cases in early December 2017 to approximately 2,000 by early January 2018 (Figure). In collaboration with partners, the Zambia Ministry of Health (MoH) launched a multifaceted public health response that included increased chlorination of the Lusaka municipal water supply, provision of emergency water supplies, water quality monitoring and testing, enhanced surveillance, epidemiologic investigations, a cholera vaccination campaign, aggressive case management and health care worker training, and laboratory testing of clinical samples. In late December 2017, a number of water-related preventive actions were initiated, including increasing chlorine levels throughout the city's water distribution system and placing emergency tanks of chlorinated water in the most affected neighborhoods; cholera cases declined sharply in January 2018. During January 10-February 14, 2018, approximately 2 million doses of oral cholera vaccine were administered to Lusaka residents aged ≥1 year. However, in mid-March, heavy flooding and widespread water shortages occurred, leading to a resurgence of cholera. As of May 12, 2018, the outbreak had affected seven of the 10 provinces in Zambia, with 5,905 suspected cases and a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.9%. Among the suspected cases, 5,414 (91.7%), including 98 deaths (CFR = 1.8%), occurred in Lusaka residents.

PMID:
29771877
PMCID:
PMC6048949
DOI:
10.15585/mmwr.mm6719a5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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