“A UNICEF official says a cholera outbreak in Congo has killed 279 people and infected more than 4,000 others in the last four months,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (7/27). According to the VOA’s “Breaking News” blog, “[a] cholera outbreak has been declared in four provinces with northeastern Orientale province showing the most cases.” The WHO last week expressed concern that the disease could spread along the Congo River, according to the blog (7/27).
According to the Haitian government, more than 5,800 people have died of cholera since the epidemic began in October, and health care workers have seen an increase in cases “[w]ith the rainy season now in progress,” the Los Angeles Times reports (Gaestel, 7/24).
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has recorded more than 3,000 cases and 192 deaths from cholera since March, according to a U.N. report on the outbreak, VOA News reports (7/14).
Researchers at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, this week described a device that collects water quality data to “chec[k] supplies in real-time, alerting users to possible infections,” and “upload[s] the data, allowing scientists to monitor the location and movement of outbreaks,” BBC News reports. The researchers said the device, called the Water Canary, “could prove invaluable for governments around the world keen to contain disease and environmental disasters,” according to the news service (Wakefield, 7/13).
Ronald Brus, CEO of the Dutch vaccine maker Crucell, said Haiti did not accept an offer of tens of thousands of cholera vaccine doses late last year, the Financial Times reports. Brus said Crucell offered significant donations of its Dukoral cholera vaccine, but Haitian health officials passed on the offer, according to the newspaper.
Puerto Rico has reported its first case of cholera imported by a recent traveler to the island of Hispaniola, where a cholera outbreak began in October, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports.
“Evidence ‘strongly suggests’ that a United Nations peacekeeping mission brought a cholera strain to Haiti that has killed thousands of people,” according to a study conducted by a team of epidemiologists and physicians and published in the July issue of the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Associated Press reports. The Haitian government has recorded more than 363,000 cases of cholera more than 5,500 deaths since the outbreak began in October.
More than 18,000 cases of cholera have been recorded in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince since the beginning of May, an increase that may be related to “the beginning of the rainy season and the flooding that hit the capital,” according to Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesperson, Agence France-Presse reports.
Three cases of cholera have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital of Kinshasa, “home to at least 9 million people, many of whom live in cramped, unsanitary conditions,” Reuters reports.
Heavy rains in Haiti have increased the number of cholera cases in the country, the Associated Press/Seattle Times reports.