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Outbreak update – Cholera in Somalia, 20 December 2018

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20 December 2018 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 32 new suspected cases of cholera, with no deaths, for epidemiological week 49 (3 to 9 December) of 2018. Since epidemiological week 28, there has been a significant downward trend in the number of new suspected cholera cases reported from treatment facilities. The cumulative total of cases is 6669, including 45 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.67%), since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017 along the Shabelle River.

The outbreak has spread in the south and central regions, and the affected districts include Jowhar, Kismayo, Bulobarde, Afgoye, Merka and Banadir. However, the trend of cases has been declining, and only Banadir region has been reporting cases and deaths since week 25. In week 49, active transmission of suspected cholera was reported in eight districts in the Banadir region: Darkenley, Daynile, Hamarjabja, Hodan, Madina, Waberi, Heliwaa, and Wardigley. Of these new cases, 50% (16) were females while 75% (24) were children below five years of age.

Stool samples have been collected and tested in the National Public Heatlh Laboratory in Mogadishu.  Of 351 stool samples that have been tested since the beginning of this year, 104 tested positive for Vibrio cholerae, serotype O1 Ogawa.

WHO continues to provide leadership and support the health authorities and partners in activities to mitigate the outbreak. The disease surveillance system is managed by the electronic Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN) system with the support of WHO and is currently being expanded to all health facilities across the country. WHO and the Ministry of Health continue to monitor outbreak trends through the EWARN system and promptly investigate and respond to all alerts.

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