3. Details: Cholera outbreak in Nampula
An outbreak of cholera was reported in Nampula in northern Mozambique on 04 March 2014. The health authorities already recorded 172 cases by the time of the information release and mentioned that an average of 10 to 13 severely affected people still arrive at the cholera treatment centre every day. To control the outbreak, water samples were analysed to determine the presence and level of contamination and the residents were encouraged by mobiles health units to apply and strengthen individual and collective hygiene measures. In addition the city authorities were requested to implement sanitation procedures to prevent the spread the disease.
4. Characteristics of the illness
Epidemiology: Cholera is an illness characterised by a severe diarrhoea that can kill within hours if not treated. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 3–5 million cholera cases occur every year and 100 000–120 000 of the infected people die. The disease is endemic to many countries and occurs especially in places where hygienic conditions are poor.
Cause: The causative agent is Vibrio cholerae, a bacterium that belongs to the family Vibrionaceae. It is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic and non-spore-forming curved rod. Based on differences in the sugar composition of the heat-stable surface somatic “O” antigen, different serogroups can be distinguished. The O1 and O139 serogroups are responsible for the disease outbreaks, with O1 being the most spread agent. In the human body, Vibria cholerae releases a cholera toxin in the intestine provoking thereby the acute diarrhoea.
Transmission: Cholera is contracted by consuming food or water contaminated with discharges of infected people containing Vibrio cholerae. Areas with poor hygienic conditions such peri-urban slums and refugee...