Since the beginning of the year, 26 countries have reported cholera epidemics. Blame it on global warming? Explanations.
Each year, between 1.3 and 4 million cases of cholera are recorded worldwide. Between 21,000 and 143,000 deaths are linked to this acute diarrheal disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of a resurgence of this disease after years of decline. In question ? The effects of climate change.
In the first months of the year, 26 countries reported outbreaks – that was less than 20 per year between 2017 and 2021.”After years of decline, we are seeing a worrying upsurge in cholera outbreaks around the world over the past year,” underlined the WHO team leader for cholera and epidemic diarrheal diseases, Philippe Barboza. In addition to being more frequent, the epidemic is also more deadly since the fatality rate is almost three times higher than in the previous five years.
Blame it on climate change
The WHO specialist links this increase in cases to the effects of climate change: “Extreme climatic events such as floods, cyclones and droughts further reduce access to drinking water and create an ideal environment for the development of cholera”. Before completing:As the effects of climate change intensify, we can expect the situation to get worse if we don’t act now to boost cholera prevention.”
Without treatment, cholera is a disease from which you can die within hours. In most cases, people infected with Vibrio cholerae have few or no symptoms even if the bacteria is present in the stool for one to two weeks. “In case of illness, 80 to 90% of episodes are mild or moderately severe and it is then difficult to distinguish them clinically from other types of acute diarrhea“, details Public Health France. And to continue: “Less than 20% of patients develop all the typical symptoms of cholera, with symptoms of moderate to severe dehydration: violent diarrhea profuse in “rice water”, vomiting, without fever“. Mortality is higher in children, the elderly and vulnerable individuals.
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