Malawi health officials reported a new cholera outbreak in Nsanje district, located in the southern region of Malawi.

Vibrio cholerae on TCBS/CDC
Vibrio cholerae on TCBS/CDC

The outbreak began on Mar. 11 and laboratory testing revealed that the agent was  Vibrio cholerae Ogawa O1.

As of 24 March 2017, a total of 14 cases with no deaths have been reported.

Nsanje district shares borders with Mozambique. The initial cluster of cases were found to have epidemiological linkage with Villa Nova, Tete province in Mozambique, which is reported to be having an ongoing cholera outbreak.

Malawi has been experiencing recurrent outbreaks of cholera, especially in the southern region. This region is prone to either floods or droughts, both conditions favor propagation of cholera infection. The poor sanitation and hygiene practices in these communities are some of the factors contributing to cholera transmission. In addition, the continuous cross-border activities taking place between Malawi and Mozambique (that is reported to have ongoing cholera outbreaks) is likely to lead to subsequent trans-boundary transmission of cholera.