Since mid-March, the Congo Ministry of Health reported a suspected cholera outbreak in Likouala Department, located in the northern part of the country. In a related event, health authorities in Plateau Department reported increasing cases of acute watery diarrhea in Mpouya District in the central part of Congo.

Public domain image/Dartmouth
Public domain image/Dartmouth

As of 19 April 2018, a total of 46 suspected cholera cases, including two deaths (case fatality rate 4.4%) were reported from two departments: Plateaux (34 cases and one death) and Likouala (12 cases and one death).

A total of six stool samples (three from Impfondo and three from Mpouya) were obtained and shipped to the National Public Health Laboratory (LNSP) in Brazzaville (arriving on 28 and 31 March 2018, respectively). The three stool samples from Impfondo had initially tested positive for Vibrio cholerae serogroup 01 on rapid diagnostic test (RDT). Laboratory test results released by the LNSP on 3 April 2018 indicated that one of the three samples from Mongolo isolated V. cholerae O1 Ogawa serotype. Further, the test showed that the pathogen was resistant to ampicillin, cephalexin, ceftriaxone, tetracycline/doxycycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, and nalidixic acid, and only sensitive to kanamycin.

A fresh cholera outbreak has been confirmed in two departments of Congo, along Congo River at the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Initial investigation indicates that the initial cases travelled from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While the national authorities and partners have mounted a response to this outbreak, the interventions need to be particularly robust in order to contain the event as it starts.


A cholera outbreak has been reported in the suburbs of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe.  Since the beginning of the outbreak on 23 March 2018, a total of 36 suspected/ confirmed cases with three deaths (case fatality rate 8.3%) have been reported, as of 20 April 2018.

The cholera outbreak in the peri-urban suburbs of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, continues to evolve. While the trend has been declining in recent days, the outbreak requires close monitoring, proactive preparedness and effective response for ultimate containment.