FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Zimbabwe faces potential cholera outbreak

Potential cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe | Courtesy of harvard.edu
Zimbabwe towns that border Mozambique have reported 14 cholera infections as health officials consider how to handle this health threat more effectively than the 2008-09 epidemic. 

Zimbabwe's worst cholera epidemic took place in its capital of Harare in from 2008-09, killing approximately 4,300 people of the more than 100,000 who were infected.

The 14 most recently confirmed cholera cases are in Chipinge, Mudzi and Chiredzi, towns directly across the border from Mozambique. Beitbridge, a town that serves as a busy crossing point into South Africa, has also confirmed cholera cases.

There is heavy traffic for travel and trade with Zimbabwe, as it is one of the key entry points for the southern region of Africa. Bus stations are especially prone to harboring the highly infectious cholera bacillus.

Health professionals are especially concerned about erratic water supplies; burst sewage, smelly and dirty-looking water; refuse throughout the capital; filthy bus stations; and inadequate toilet facilities. They do remain optimistic for controlling the outbreak, as conditions have improved since the last outbreak.