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Cholera Cases Rise Globally

The World Health Organization says there is a global uptick in cholera cases.

The number of cases reported last year was more than double those reported in 2021, the United Nations agency said.

The number of countries reporting cholera statistics also grew in 2022 by 25%, from 35 countries in 2021 to 44 countries last year.

Cholera can be a life-threatening disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that can spread through unsafe food or water.  Cholera bacteria can spread from a person to drinking water or water used to grow food or prepare food.  Cholera can also spread when human feces with cholera enter the water supply.

The standard treatment for cholera has been a two-dose vaccination, but beginning in October 2022, the International Coordinating Group that manages emergency vaccine supplies, switched to a single-dose vaccine.

Last year, there were large cholera outbreaks, the WHO said. Seven countries –Afghanistan, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, NIgeria, Somalia and Syria – reported more than 10,000 suspected and confirmed cholera cases.

The WHO said the world is on track this year to continue the cholera upsurge with outbreaks currently in 24 countries “with some countries in the midst of acute crises.”  

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