By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been experiencing a cholera outbreak since the beginning of this year.

Public domain image/Dartmouth

From January to September 12, a total of 4 671 suspected cases of cholera, including 91 deaths (Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) = 2.0%), were reported from 73 health districts in 14 regions.

The weekly average number of suspected cases is around 130.

In the week ending September 12, there was an increase in number of new cases reported with 186 cases and one death (CFR 0.1%) and this increase has been seen for four consecutive weeks.

More than 96 percent of new cases were reported from two regions (Tanganyika and South Kivu) which declared new outbreaks a month ago.

WHO says DRC faces cholera outbreaks every year since 1974 when Vibrio cholerae was detected for the first time in the country. Overtime, the recorded case fatality ratio has always been above 1%, the acceptable threshold established by WHO.

For 2021, the cholera outbreak shows a much lower intensity compared to the same period in the previous four years. This could be because of the positive impact of response interventions put in place in recent years, in particular the strengthening of water-sanitation and hygiene, the capacity building
of health facilities in the detection and management of cholera cases and cholera vaccination in some at risk areas.