WHO says Zimbabwean cholera epidemic 'past its peak'

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that the cholera outbreak that has struck the African country of Zimbabwe seems to have passed its peak.

The WHO said that "while data collection and verification remain a challenge throughout the country with the effect that weekly statistics are not always accurate or complete, the overall trend over the last 2 months is of a decreasing number of cases and deaths.

"The situation with the current cholera outbreak is improving. The overall trend over the last two months is of a decreasing number of cases and deaths," the WHO said.

The number of new cholera cases in the week ending March 14 was 2,076, almost half of the 3,812 infections reported the week before, and 8,000 per week in the beginning of February. The WHO stated that the fatality rate per week dropped from a peak of 6% in January to 2.3% this month.

91,164 total cases were reported as of March 17 since the epidemic started in August of last year, with a total of 4,307 deaths. The cholera epidemic is the deadliest in Africa for a decade and a half.