More than 27,000 pigs have died in a hog-cholera epidemic that has struck Indonesia, with thousands more at risk, an animal welfare official said.
Thousands of pigs have died in more than a dozen regencies across North Sumatra over the past three months, and the pace of deaths is increasing, authorities said.
“Every day, between 1,000 and 2,000 pigs are dying. It’s quite a high figure,” said Agustia, the veterinary office chief in Medan who goes by one name, on Friday.
Still, he added that the current death toll was a small fraction of the 1.2 million hogs in North Sumatra, a part of Muslim-majority Indonesia that is predominantly Christian and where pork is an important part of local fare.
Last month, more than 1,000 cholera-stricken pigs were buried in the province after their decaying carcasses were plucked from local waterways, as police searched for suspects who discarded them.
Previously, lab tests found that the animals died of hog cholera but officials said they are also testing to see if any were infected with African swine fever. Neither are believed to pose a risk to humans.
In 2017, a hog cholera outbreak in Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara province killed more than 10,000 pigs, causing severe financial losses for local farmers.
Sudan said on Thursday that the number of cases of cholera reported in the country have surged to 124, most of them in the war-torn state of Blue Nile.
The health ministry said the disease had been reported in the states of Blue Nile and Sinnar.
Of a total of 124 cases reported so far, 101 were in Blue Nile and the remaining in Sinnar, the ministry said in a statement.
Experts from the World Health Organization have been sent to the two regions, the ministry said.
Last week, the ministry reported four cases of cholera in Blue Nile.
It also said that three deaths from acute diarrhoea had also been reported in Blue Nile.
WHO at the time said it was working closely with health authorities in Blue Nile to tackle cholera cases there.
A WHO official in Sudan warned cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases could spread if no action was taken, due to “suboptimal health conditions” as well as poor water and sewage infrastructure, exacerbated by floods.
Dozens of people died from acute diarrhoea in Sudan in 2016 after thousands of cases were reported nationwide.
Blue Nile state, which has a large ethnic minority population, has been the focus of a rebellion by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North since 2011.
The army declared a ceasefire after the overthrow of veteran president Omar al-Bashir earlier this year.
Cholera has infected at least 1,052 people in Mozambique’s cyclone-hit region, the health ministry said Monday in a new report, marking a massive increase from 139 cases reported four days ago.
The mounting cases represent on average more than 200 cases of new infections each day.
Although hundreds have been taken ill with cholera since last week, only one death has been reported so far, tallies compiled by the ministry showed.
A mass vaccination campaign is due to be rolled out on Wednesday as authorities and aid workers are scrambling to avert an epidemic more than two weeks after a devastating cyclone slammed Mozambique.
Some 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccines were due to arrive in the cyclone-battered Beira city on Tuesday, from the global stockpile for emergency, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Vaccination against cholera begins on Wednesday in Beira,” a senior Mozambican health official Ussein Isse said.
The central city of Beira is the worst affected, accounting for 959 out of the total 1,052 cases.
The city of more than half-a-million people recorded 247 cases in 24 hours between Sunday and Monday morning.
Cholera is transmitted through contaminated drinking water or food and causes acute diarrhoea.
The numbers of cholera cases is expected to rise due to the increasing numbers of people reporting to health centres with symptoms, said the WHO in a statement.
“The next few weeks are crucial and speed is of the essence if we are to save lives and limit suffering,” WHO chief for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said in the statement.
Cyclone Idai killed more than 700 people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe and hundreds of thousands have been left homeless — many of whom have been forced to use dirty water supplies. At least 518 of those deaths have occurred in Mozambique.
Experts have warned that the destruction of drinking water sources and lack of sanitation in overcrowded shelters in Mozambique create breeding grounds for waterborne diseases such as cholera.
To control the outbreak, vast quantities of drinking water and water purification units have been delivered to affected areas.
A publicity blitz to raise awareness of the cholera situation is also underway.
More than 146,000 people have been displaced from their homes by the cyclone and subsequent floods are sheltering in 155 sites across four provinces of Sofala, Manica, Zambezia and Tete, according to the UN.
Nearly 110,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in war-hit Yemen since the beginning of January, including 190 related deaths, the UN said on Monday.
The UN office for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said children under the age of five make up nearly a third of 108,889 cases which were reported between January 1 and March 17.
OCHA said the spike, which comes two years after Yemen suffered its worst cholera outbreak, was concentrated in six governorates including in the Red Sea port of Hodeida and the Sanaa province home to the capital.
Early rains could be blamed for the recent increase in suspected cholera cases, it said.
“The situation is exacerbated by poor maintenance of sewage disposal systems in many of the affected districts, the use of contaminated water for irrigation, and population movements,” OCHA added.
The waterborne disease is endemic to Yemen, which witnessed the worst cholera outbreak in its modern history in 2017.
More than one million suspected cases were reported within an eight-month period that year. More than 2,500 people died of the infection between April and December 2017.
Yemen’s brutal conflict, which pits Iran-linked rebels against a regional pro-government alliance led by Saudi Arabia, has left some 10,000 people dead since 2015 and pushed millions to the brink of famine.
The war has created the perfect environment for cholera to thrive, as civilians across the country lack access to clean water and health care.
At least 10 people have been confirmed killed as a result of Cholera outbreak in Niger State, North-central Nigeria.
The Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Mustapha Jibrin, confirmed the figure on Wednesday while addressing reporters at his office in Minna, Niger State capital.
He disclosed that a total of 120 cases were recorded in four Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Bida, Katcha, Lavun and Gbako.
Dr Jibrin said the State Rapid Response team has been reactivated while the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, and other international bodies are also offering support to the state government to tackle the outbreak.
He, however, assured that the people that the government has brought the situation under control to avoid further spread of the disease to other locations in the state.
The commissioner revealed further that they have begun to offer free medical treatment to patients who are on admission at the government hospital.
He added that sensitisation and awareness campaigns have been stepped up while collaborations with traditional institutions are also being explored as part of efforts to tackle the menace of the cholera outbreak.
According to Jibrin, 205 cases of gastroenteritis in all have been reported in Gurara, Lapai, Mokwa, Munya, Paikoro, Suleja, Tafa, and Wushishi LGAs of the state.
He noted that the state governor, Abubakar Bello, consequently directed that the sum of n25million be released to enhance surveillance, especially in the affected areas.
The Kaduna state government has moved to curtail the spread of Cholera in the state and other surrounding communities; this follows the recent outbreak of the disease at a secondary school where one student died and over 80 others hospitalised.
The Health authorities confirmed that some of the affected students that were brought to the hospital have been stabilized and ready to go back to school, while those still on admission are responding to treatment.
The state commissioner of Health, Dr Paul Dogo who attributed the cholera outbreak to lack of clean water and proper sanitation in the school, says measures are being put in place to avert a reoccurrence of such an outbreak in any of the public schools in the state.
On Monday, an outbreak of Cholera in the school resulted to the death of one student, while no fewer than eighty others who showed signs of vomiting and stooling were admitted at the Kawo General Hospital in the last 24 hours.
Aid agencies and medical experts are supporting the state government in its efforts to control the epidemic which spreads very fast if left untreated on time.
But serious questions are now being asked why it took so long to recognise the severity of the outbreak.
With many of the affected students treated and discharged, the Kaduna state government says it is getting a grip on the situation.
Access to safe drinking water and poor sanitation is a big challenge in the school.
As a temporary measure, contaminated water sources are also being treated.
The biggest cholera vaccine drive in history is underway in Africa aimed at reining in a spate of outbreaks across the continent, the UN and charity alliance Gavi said Monday.
More than two million people will receive the oral cholera vaccine as part of five major campaigns in Malawi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda and Zambia, Gavi said, adding that the campaigns should be complete by mid-June.
“This is an unprecedented response to a spike in cholera outbreaks across Africa,” Gavi chief Seth Berkley said in a statement.
At least 12 regions or countries in sub-Saharan Africa are currently facing cholera outbreaks, according to Gavi and the World Health Organization.
According to the UN health agency, cholera infects 1.3 million to four million people every year and kills an estimated 21,000-143,000 — mainly in poor countries.
The ongoing campaigns in Africa are being implemented by the health ministries in the five countries, where thousands of cases of the disease have been reported.
The vaccines themselves come from a global stockpile, which has grown substantially in recent years, in step with the recognition of the role the vaccine can play in halting the spread of the bacterial disease.
“Oral cholera vaccines are a key weapon in our fight against cholera,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the statement, stressing through the need also to improve access to clean water and sanitation, train health workers and work with communities on prevention.
Cholera, which causes potentially deadly diarrhoea, is contracted by ingesting food or water contaminated with a bacterium carried in human faeces and spread through poor sanitation and dirty drinking water.
Left untreated, it can kill within hours.
WHO recommends giving the oral cholera vaccine in two doses, the first offering protection for six months and the second for three to five years.
“We have worked hard to ensure there is now enough vaccine supply to keep the global stockpile topped up and ready for most eventualities,” Berkley said.
The campaign in Nigeria, where 1,700 cases have been reported, aims to provide 600,000 people with two vaccine doses each, while the campaign in Malawi, where more than 900 people have been infected, aims to provide vaccine protection to 500,000 people.
Some 360,000 doses of the vaccine have meanwhile been shipped to Uganda, where the Kyangwali camp housing Congolese refugees is facing a cholera outbreak that has killed dozens and left more than 900 in hospital.
In this campaign, only one dose is being provided per person to increase the spread. The country is also planning to vaccinate 1.7 million more people in coming months.
Another 113,800 doses have also been shipped to South Sudan as a prevention measure ahead of the war-torn country’s rainy season.
And 667,100 doses are being delivered to Zambia as part of a second round of vaccination after a major outbreak infected more than 5,700 people and killed more than 100.
“Every rainy season, cholera springs up and brings devastation to communities across Africa,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa.
“With this historic cholera vaccination drive, countries in the region are demonstrating their commitment to stopping cholera from claiming more lives.”