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Global cholera incidence rises by 58% in May — WHO

More than 13,000 new cases were reported in Afghanistan, and more than 13,000 in Pakistan

GENEVA, June 20. /TASS/. More than 46,000 people fell ill with cholera this May, which is 58% more than in April, the World Health Organization (WHO) said, assessing the risk of the disease spreading further as very high.

A WHO newsletter says that in May, "46,364 new cholera cases" and 185 deaths were reported in 19 countries. Compared to April, 58% more cases were detected that month. The incidence was especially high in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. More than 13,000 new cases were reported in Afghanistan, and more than 13,000 in Pakistan.

From January 1 to May 24, 2024, 194,897 people in 24 countries fell ill with cholera. The disease caused death in 1,932 cases.

In January 2023, WHO characterized the increase in global cholera incidence as a grade 3 emergency, which corresponds to the highest level of severity. "Based on the number of outbreaks and their geographic expansion, alongside the shortage of vaccines and other resources, WHO continues to assess the risk at the global level as very high," the newsletter said.

The organization noted that demand for oral cholera vaccines is outpacing supplies. From January 2023 to May 2024, the number of urgent requests for vaccines sharply increased: 16 countries requested 92 million doses, while during this period only 49 million doses were produced. As of June 10 this year, the reserves of cholera vaccines in the world amounted to 6.2 million doses.

Cholera is a particularly dangerous infectious disease caused by Vibrio cholerae. It occurs when the pathogen enters an organism through contaminated food or water.