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Climate Change May Have Accelerated The Global Cholera Outbreak: WHO

Considered a disease of the poor, WHO estimates suggest that every year, 1.3 to four million cases of cholera occur worldwide – resulting in 21,000 to 143,000 cases of mortality

Cholera outbreak in Haiti
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The World Health Organisation said on Friday that this year climate change has driven "a number of larger and more deadly cholera outbreaks."

“The situation is quite unprecedented, for not only we are seeing more outbreaks, but these outbreaks are larger and more deadly than the ones we have seen in past years,” said Dr. Philippe Barboza WHO Team Lead for Cholera and Epidemic Diarrhoeal Diseases.

Considered a disease of the poor, WHO estimates suggest that, every year, 1.3 to four million cases of cholera occur worldwide – resulting in 21,000 to 143,000 cases of mortality. An acute diarrhoeal infection can be caused by eating or drinking food or water, contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera. Cholera causes extremely severe acute watery diarrhea. Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which are present in contaminated food and water, are what cause the sickness. 

Cholera can be lethal if not treated right away, despite the fact that treatment is generally easy. More crucially, the disease is strongly associated with a lack of access to hygienic sanitation systems and clean drinking water, leaving poorer nations to suffer the brunt of the world's cholera cases.

lack of access to safe drinking water, and sanitation facilities, is putting poor and most vulnerable people in the world at risk. Climate change is exacerbating the situation – mass displacement due to extreme weather events is making things worse for people residing in lower to middle-income countries, as, these countries lack the resources to deal with it

The flood in Pakistan during August and September, and earlier, in northeast India and Bangladesh left a huge load of waterborne diseases. Cholera is considered preventable. But, the world is facing a persisting global shortage of vaccines, as sole producers South Korea and India are already at “peak production”. Therefore, countries need to implement more preventable measures and be prepared for future challenges.

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