Cameroon’s cholera outbreaks vary by climate region
Cameroon’s cholera outbreaks vary by climate region.
Cholera follows different, distinct outbreak patterns in different climate subzones of the large country, the researchers reported in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
"The study highlights the complexity of cholera transmission, and its close link with environmental and climatic factors," said J. Glenn Morris, M.D., a professor in the College of Medicine and the director of the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogen Institute.
Cholera is a severe diarrheal disease caused by certain strains of the bacteria Vibrio cholera, which can be found free-living in the environment, often in bodies of water, or can be transmitted between people.
The data, collected between 2000 and 2012 by the Ministry of Public Health of Cameroon and the World Health Organization country office, include details on the more than 43,000 cases of cholera that occurred in Cameroon during the 13-year period.
"Cholera displays different epidemiological patterns by climate subzone," Ngwa said.
"As such, a singleintervention strategy for controlling cholera within Cameroon does not appear to be feasible.
During the 13-year span, on average, 7.9 percent of the cholera cases in Cameroon were fatal annually, and with an attack rate of 17.9 cases per 100,000 Cameroon inhabitants per year.
Moreover, each region had distinct relationships between rainfall, temperature, and cholera cases — in the Sudano-Sahalian and Guinea Equitorial subzones, increasing temperature and rainfall was found to be associated with higher rates of cholera transmission, whereas the opposite association was seen in the Tropical Humid and Equatorial Monsoon subzones.
"Government officials should enable enhanced public health surveillance and rapid response to cholera outbreaks at the health district level in order to encourage a reduction in transmission," Ngwa said.