Outbreak Update – Cholera in Somalia, 1 November 2018

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1 November 2018 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 32 new suspected cases of cholera, including one death for epidemiological week 42 (15 to 21 October) of 2018. Since week 28, there has been a significant downward trend in the number of new suspected cholera cases reported from different treatment facilities. The cumulative total of cases is 6498, including 43 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.6%), since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017 along the Shabelle River.

The outbreak has spread in the south and central regions and the effected districts include Jowhar, Kismayo, Bulobarde, Afgoye, Merka and Banadir. However, the trend of cases has been declining since week 28, and only Banader region has been reporting cases and deaths in the last three weeks. The number of weekly reported cases has significantly decreased, ranging between 20 to 32 per week. In week 42, active transmission of AWD/cholera was reported in eight districts in the Banadir region. Of these new cases, 41% were (13) females while 56% (17) represents children below five years of age. Lower Jubba has reported zero cases for the last four weeks.

Stool samples have been collected from four regions (Banadir, Hiraan, Lower Jubba and Middle Shabelle) and tested in the National Public Heatlh Laboratory in Mogadishu. Of 278 stool samples that have been tested since the beginning of this year, 85 samples tested positive for Vibrio cholerae, serotype O1 Ogawa. A number of stool samples were collected from Banader hospital during the current reporting period, and the laboratory results are still pending.

WHO continues to provide leadership and support the health authorities and partners in activities to mitigate the outbreak. The disease surveillance system is managed by the Electronic Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN) system with the support of WHO and is currently being expanded to all health facilities across the country. WHO and the Ministry of Health continue to monitor outbreak trends through the EWARN system and promptly investigate and respond to all alerts.