A total of 22 districts have reported Cholera cases since the confirmation of the first case in March 2022 in Machinga district.
Of the affected districts, Nkhata Bay has reported the most cases with 858 cases and 22 deaths, followed by Blantyre (609/24), Rumphi (563/10) and Nkohotakota (436/14).
Most of the deaths occurred while in the communities or at health facilities after presenting at the facilities late for treatment.
The major factors associated with the cholera outbreak in the communities are poor food hygiene, lack of safe water and low latrine coverage and usage (open defecation).
Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Cholera is spread through contaminated food or water.
It usually takes 2-3 days for symptoms to appear after ingesting cholera bacteria, ranging from a few hours to 5 days.
Cholera can cause large amounts of watery diarrhea (described as a rice-water stool), nausea, and vomiting. Rapid loss of body fluids can lead to dehydration, shock, and even death.