World: Syria, Iraq, Pakistan ... WHO observes a "worrying upsurge" of cholera in the world

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during the first nine months of the year, 26 countries reported epidemics, against less than 20 per year between 2017 and 2021

Une mère tient son enfant atteint du choléra dans un hôpital de Deir ez-Zor, en Syrie, jeudi 29 septembre 2022. © Baderkhan Ahmad/AP/SIPA A mother holds her child with cholera in a hospital in Deir Ez -Zor, in Syria, Thursday September 29, 2022. epidemics - during the first nine months of the year, 26 countries have reported epidemics, against less than 20 per year between 2017 and 2021

The world faces a "disturbing resurgence" of the cholera , after years of decline, a disease favored by the effects of climate change, warned the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday. During the first nine months of the year, 26 countries reported epidemics, against less than 20 per year between 2017 and 2021, according to WHO.

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"After years of decline, we note a disturbing resurgence of the epidemics of cholera worldwide during the past year," said WHO team leader for cholera and diarrheal diseases Epidemics, Philippe Barboza, during a press briefing in Geneva. "Not only is there a greater number of epidemics, but the epidemics themselves are more important and more deadly," he said. According to the expert, the average rate of lethality linked to the cholera recorded in 2021 is almost three times higher than in the previous five years.

Extreme climatic climatic events

cholera, acute diarrheal infection causing sometimes fatal dehydration, contracts by the absorption of water or food products contaminated by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria. It develops in often populated areas, with limited access to drinking water or devoid of suitable sanitation networks.

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"The extreme climatic events such as floods, cyclones and droughts reduce access to drinking water more and create an ideal environment for cholera development," said Philippe Barboza. "As the effects of climate change intensify, we can expect the situation to worsen if we do not act now to stimulate cholera prevention," he added.

WHO does not have data on the number of deaths related to cholera for lack of statistics available in affected countries, including Syria, Iraq, Iran, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan , Nepal, Afghanistan and the African Horn area.

serious situation but "not desperate"

Most infected people will have no symptoms or that benign symptoms and can be treated successfully with oral rehydration salts. There are vaccines but insufficient number because demand exceeds supply. According to Philippe Barboza, there are still a few million doses for this year. According to the expert, the main problem is that there is only one vaccine manufacturer: "We must find ways to involve more manufacturers".

"The situation is serious, but it is not desperate. The cholera is, after all, avoidable and treatable. By showing clairvoyance and taking appropriate measures, we can reverse the trend, "he concluded.

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