Travel Alert – Cameroon – Cholera…

Drum Cussac has issued this latest warning for U.S. Citizens and others traveling in the continent of West Africa specifically Nigeria.  This information is available to GeoBlue plan members from the GeoBlue website daily…

Cholera Outbreak Reported in Far North Region, Raising Health Concerns

Government Warning Issued for Cameroon Africa

Category: Health and Medical

Severity: 2 (Moderate)

Source: Drum Cussac

07/31/2014 (Cameroon) – According to press accounts on Wednesday, 30 July, a cholera epidemic in the Far North Region has killed more than 200 people in less than a month. Worst affected areas are located in Mayo-Tsanaga department, particularly in Mogode, Hina, Bourrha, Mokolo and Koza localities, where drinkable water is scarce. A large number of infections have also been recorded in the region’s Logone-et-Chari and Mayo Sava departments. Local health officials and aid agencies indicated that the outbreak had particularly affected refugees fleeing the conflict in neighboring Nigeria.

The outbreak has been attributed to torrential rainfall generated by Cameroon’s rainy season that runs through November as well as low hygiene standards. Health officials in the Far North region have registered more than 1,500 infections since the beginning of the year, although actual figures are likely to be higher as a large number of cases go unreported. According to aid agencies, nearly half of the fatalities did not seek medical treatment. Due to a lack of medical capabilities in northern and northeast Cameroon, incoming refugees are often not screened for diseases.

Cholera epidemics are frequently reported in northern Cameroon, with outbreaks reported in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2010, authorities registered at least 225 cholera-related fatalities in northern and northeast Cameroon.

Travelers and in-country clients should note that cholera is an intestinal bacterial infection transmitted by intake of water or food contaminated with the cholera bacterium. Outbreaks are usually connected to fecal contamination of water supplies and/or street-vended food products. Acute cases will exhibit symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Fluid intake should be increased upon the onset of these symptoms, and those exhibiting symptoms should immediately seek medical treatment. Personnel should also practice good food hygiene such as drinking only bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water and eating food that has been thoroughly cooked. The use of anti-bacterial gel, especially before preparing food and eating is recommended.

Copyright © 2014 Drum Cussac

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