The Zimbabwean government says the cholera outbreak in Harare is largely under control, with no new infections and the death toll remaining at 49 since Wednesday last week.

Zimbabwe map/CIA

In his latest epidemiological update issued on Monday, Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo said the disease, which broke out in the Glen View and Budiriro suburbs of Harare, is no longer ‘a big threat.’

Dr Moyo said by September 26, more than 6 645 suspected cases were under monitoring. Of these, 96 tested positive for the Vibrio Cholerae virus while 10 000 others went through the emergency screening and treatment centres.

According to the assessment, 21% of the cases and 21% of the deaths were children under the age of five.

“This is a unique outbreak from those experienced earlier because there were high levels of resistance to the antibiotics commonly available and high fatalities despite the outbreak being predominantly urban. It happened in the same areas that were heavily affected by typhoid, and that raises the possibility of dual infections,” he said.

Dr Moyo said there were plans for a dual vaccination campaign to control cholera and typhoid. Meanwhile, disease surveillance has been intensified nationwide to enable early detection and treatment of new cases.