Cholera Outbreaks 2023

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Last reviewed
June 5, 2023
Content Overview
Cholera is a vaccine preventable disease causing outbreaks in Haiti, Malawi, South Africa, and Syria during June 2023.

Cholera Outbreaks June 2023

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified an unprecedented global increase in cholera outbreaks in 2022. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) says the current cholera epidemic has deteriorated, with four new countries reporting outbreaks in 2023. The WHO published External situation report #3 on June 1, 2023, confirming cholera outbreaks are ongoing in 24 countries. Since April 2023, further cholera spread has continued to be reported in the Horn of Africa, especially around the Mandera triangle, where the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia meet.

The CDC, the WHO, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the European CDC have reported active cholera transmissions in all six WHO regions, including Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the CongoEswatini, Ethiopia, KenyaMalawiMozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South AfricaSouth Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and ZambiaHaiti, and Syria.

Seven distinct Cholera pandemics have been recorded over the past two centuries, says the WHO. The seventh pandemic, which remains active in 2023, is considered to have started in 1961. The global burden of Cholera is unknown mainly because most cases are not reported. However, the WHO reported the average cholera fatality rate in 2021 was 1.9% (2.9% in Africa). Furthermore, preliminary WHO data suggest a similar trend for 2022 and 2023. Therefore, the WHO assessed the risk of cholera outbreaks at the global level as very high.

Cholera in the U.S.

Nearly all cholera cases reported in the U.S. are acquired during international travel. For example, in December 2022, the CDC confirmed (8) travelers infected with Cholera arrived from Pakistan, Iraq, and Bangladesh. In addition, the CDC's Clinician Outreach and Communication alert identified an unprecedented global increase in cholera infections.

Cholera Dominican Republic 2023

In the Dominican Republic, the Ministry of Public Health confirmed 88 cholera cases, 71 of which were imported from Haiti as of late February 2023.

Cholera Haiti 2023

After over three years, Haitian national authorities reported confirmed cholera cases in the greater Port-au-Prince area in October 2022. As of February 5, 2023, the Department of Epidemiology, Laboratories had reported 28,901 suspected cholera cases in all ten departments of Haiti. Of these, 1,205 (57%) were confirmed in Ouest.

Cholera Malawi 2023

The WHO says (Feb. 2023) Malawi has been experiencing a widespread cholera outbreak since March 2022. Malawi had among the highest total cases and the most deaths, 54,841 and 1,684, respectively, as of March 20, 2023. Cholera has been endemic in Malawi since 1998

Cholera Mozambique 2023

In Mozambique, the first cholera case in the city of Beira was reported in January 1998. Recently, an outbreak of Cholera has been growing exponentially since December 2022, says the WHO. As of March 27, 2023, there were over 19,000 confirmed cholera cases across eight of Mozambique's provinces.

Cholera South Africa 2023

The first cholera cases in this outbreak in South Africa were imported or import-related cases following travel to Malawi. All subsequent cases acquired infection locally and are classified as indigenous cases. As of May 22, 2023, a cholera outbreak has killed at least ten people near Pretoria. As a result, the city of Pretoria urged residents of Hammanskraal and surrounding areas not to drink from the tap.

Cholera Syria 2023

Since a cholera outbreak was first declared in Syria in September 2022, over 50 thousand suspected cases have been reported in both Idlib and Aleppo governorates. On March 8, 2023, the WHO, UNICEF, the Syria Immunization Group, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines announced a cholera vaccination campaign would focus on northwest Syria. During the campaign, 1.7 million doses of a cholera vaccine will be offered to Syrians above one year of age.

The U.S. CDC says (Jan. 31, 2023) active cholera transmission is widespread in Syria. However, Cholera is rare in travelers.

Zimbabwe Cholera 2023

Almost 100,000 cholera cases were recorded in Zimbabwe, resulting in more than 4,000 officially-recorded deaths – the largest cholera outbreak in the nation's history. 

Cholera Vaccines

As of June 2023, various cholera vaccines have been approved.

Cholera Outbreak News 2023

March 22, 2023 - World Water Day 2023 is about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis.

February 24, 2023 - The WHO does not recommend any restrictions on travel and trade to and from Mozambique. 

February 11, 2023 - The WHO reported that since mid-December 2022, the global situation has further deteriorated, with additional countries reporting cholera cases and outbreaks.

February 9, 2023 - The WHO reported 36,943 cholera cases and 1,210 associated fatalities reported from all 29 districts since March 2022.

January 19, 2023 - GAVI reported Malawi secured 2.9 million doses in November 2022.

January 17, 2023 - The Haitian Ministry of Health confirmed the cholera outbreak has expanded in 2023. As of January 3, 2023, about 20,000 suspected cholera cases had been reported nationwide.

January 13, 2023 - The U.S. CDC published: As of January 3, 2023, >20,000 suspected cholera cases had been reported in Haiti.

January 11, 2023 - Malawi's Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda confirmed the country had recorded 22,759 cholera cases and 750 deaths since March 2022.

January 6, 2023 - The BMJ reported Jane Feinmann follows the work of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in fighting this easily treated, yet rising, worldwide threat.