RECORDED cholera cases have surpassed the 2 000 mark in Zimbabwe with reports that the water-borne disease has killed 42 people so far.
Of the 42 deaths recorded, 10 have been confirmed and 32 are suspected cases awaiting laboratory results.
According to the daily cholera situational report from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, of the total cases that have been recorded since the outbreak in February, 92 percent have recovered.
The first cholera outbreak in the country in 2023 started on February 12, in Chegutu, Mashonaland West Province.
Confirmed cases have been reported in nine provinces except for Bulawayo.
The 17 cholera hotspot districts in the country are Buhera, Chegutu, Chikomba, Chimanimani, Chipinge, Chitungwiza, Chiredzi, Harare, Gokwe North, Marondera, Mazowe, Shamva, Mutare, Murehwa, Mwenezi, Seke and Wedza.
“As of Saturday, a cumulative total of 1 611 suspected cholera cases, 10 laboratory-confirmed deaths, 32 suspected cholera deaths and 417 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported. Cases in care are 98 while Manicaland (595) and Harare (473) have so far the highest recorded suspected cases compared to other provinces in Zimbabwe,” read the report.
Manicaland and Mashonaland West provinces also have the highest number of confirmed cholera cases at 37 and 20 respectively.
Southern Africa is again weathering a season of cholera as six countries in the region have so far recorded cholera outbreaks. Malawi is the worst affected, recording 36 943 cases and 1 210 associated deaths between March last year and February this year, according to the World Health Organisation.
Cholera spreads fast in explosive epidemics and can kill, by dehydration, in just hours. It’s caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which spreads in food and water tainted by infected faeces.
Cholera affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated.
People living in places with unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation and inadequate hygiene are at the highest risk for cholera. – Chronicle