Following years of decline, cholera cases are rising worldwide, says WHO

After years of a decline in numbers, the world has seen a worrying upsurge in cholera outbreaks over the past year, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Not only do we have more outbreaks, but the outbreaks themselves are larger and more deadly,” Philippe Barboza, who heads the WHO’s Cholera and Epidemic Diarrheal Diseases section, said at a UN news conference in Geneva.

He said there are rising concerns about southern Africa, the Indian subcontinent with India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal, as well as neighboring countries, and the situation could spread to other affected countries such as Lebanon.

In the first nine months of 2022 alone, 26 countries have reported cholera outbreaks. Between 2017 and 2021, fewer than 20 countries reported cholera outbreaks each year.

“Extreme climate events like floods, cyclones, and droughts further reduce the access to clean water and create an ideal environment for cholera to thrive,” said Barboza.

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