Epidemiological Update - Cholera - 23 December 2015
Cholera in the Americas - Situation summary
Since the beginning of 2015 up to epidemiological week (EW) 48 of 2015, a total of 30,654 cholera cases have been recorded in three countries in the Americas: Cuba (65), Haiti (30,080) and the Dominican Republic (509). Haiti alone registered 98% of the total cases in the Region of the Americas.
In Cuba, the national health authorities reported that up to 19 November 2015 a total of 65 cholera cases of Vibrio cholerae O1 serotype Ogawa were confirmed. In response, national authorities have strengthened prevention and control activities.
In the Dominican Republic, between EW 1 and EW 48 of 2015, a total of 509 suspected cholera cases were registered, including 13 deaths. (Figure 1).
In Haiti, since the beginning of the epidemic (October 2010) up to 12 November 2015, there were 754,735 cholera cases, including 9,068 deaths. The number of cases in 2015 up to EW 45 exceeds the total number of cases registered in 2014, mainly due to an increase in cases registered during the first trimester of 20151 (Figure 2). The rapid and timely response to this situation led to a decrease in cases in October and November of 2015. The response was based on the reactivation of the Rapid Intervention Mobile Teams (EMIRA, for its acronym in French) and an awareness campaign directed at the population throughout the country
Advice to national authorities
Given the persistence of the circulation of cholera in countries within and outside the Region of the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) recommends Member States continue their efforts to ensure and maintain adequate sanitation and access to safe drinking water. Travelers headed to areas with cholera circulation should be informed of its mode of transmission and the necessity of applying good personal hygiene, as well as consumption of safe water and foods, in order to minimize the risk of importing cases. The potential spread of cholera through imported cases will depend on existing sanitation and water conditions.
PAHO/WHO encourages Member States to maintain active surveillance systems for early detection of suspected cases, to carry out rapid laboratory diagnosis for confirmation of cases, to provide adequate treatment and to contain the spread of cholera.