The cholera outbreak in Mozambique has now reached 1400 cases since January. The bulk of the cases have been reported from Maputo city and province (398), Nampula (296) and 537 in Tete province.
Three deaths have been reported in this current outbreak.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It has a short incubation period, ranging between two hours and five days.
The bacterium produces an enterotoxin that causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given. Vomiting also occurs in most patients.
It affects both children and adults and can kill within hours. Person-to-person transmission is not common.
Among people who develop symptoms, about 80-90% of episodes are of mild or moderate severity and are difficult to distinguish clinically from other types of acute diarrhea. Less than 20% of ill persons develop acute watery diarrhea with moderate or severe dehydration.