Cholera Outbreaks March 2023

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Last reviewed
March 22, 2023
Content Overview
Cholera is a vaccine preventable disease causing outbreaks in Haiti, Malawi, and Syria during March 2023.

Cholera Outbreaks March 2023

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified an unprecedented global increase in cholera outbreaks in 2022. The World Health Organization (WHO) also reported on March 22, 2023, that cholera outbreaks are ongoing in 24 countries and that seven distinct Cholera pandemics had been recorded over the past two centuries. The seventh pandemic, which remains active in 2023, is considered to have started in 1961. Therefore, the WHO assesses the risk at the global level as very high.

The global burden of Cholera is largely unknown because most cases are not reported. However, previous studies estimate 2.9 million cases and 95,000 deaths occur annually. The WHO reported the average cholera fatality rate in 2021 was 1.9% (2.9% in Africa). Preliminary WHO data suggest a similar trend for 2022 and 2023.  

In addition, the CDC, the WHO, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the European CDC have reported active cholera transmissions in March 2023 to include Benin, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, KenyaMalawiMozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and ZambiaHaiti, and Syria, including all six WHO regions.

Cholera in the U.S.

Nearly all cholera cases reported in the U.S. are acquired during international travel. For example, as of December 5, 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. As of February 26, 2023, 48,815 cholera cases and 1,5471 deaths have been registered in Malawi. Cholera has been endemic in Malawi since 1998

Cholera Mozambique 2023

In Mozambique, an outbreak of Cholera has been growing exponentially since December 2022, says the WHO. As of 19 February 2023, a cumulative total of 5237 suspected cases and 37 deaths (Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) 0.7%) have been reported in 29 districts from six out of 11 provinces in the country. Of the at least 182 cases tested, 99 cases (54%) were laboratory confirmed for Cholera by culture.

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.

Cholera Vaccines

As of March 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.