21 Jun 2024, 17:12

France reports nearly 200 cholera cases in Mayotte

PARIS, June 21, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Paris on Friday reported nearly 200 cases of cholera on the French Indian Ocean island of Mayotte, which is struggling to contain the deadly epidemic.

"As of June 18, 2024, 193 cases of cholera have been reported in Mayotte," France's SPF public health agency reported in its weekly update.

Of those, 172 were locally acquired cases, while 21 were in people infected abroad in the neighbouring Comoros archipelago and countries on the African continent.

Cholera is an infectious disease typically causing severe diarrhoea, vomiting and muscle cramps. It spreads easily in unsanitary conditions.

Mayotte, which is home to around 320,000 people, reported its first locally acquired cases of cholera in late April.

Two people have died since the beginning of the epidemic, one of them a three-year-old girl.

SPF warned there was a particularly high risk of transmission in disadvantaged neighbourhoods "as long as access to drinking water and sanitation is unsatisfactory".

French authorities have been criticised for failing to secure access to drinking water to prevent a cholera epidemic in its overseas territory.

President Emmanuel Macron called for cholera to be "consigned to the past" when he hosted a summit on Thursday on vaccine production in Africa.

Many parts of Africa have recently seen fatal outbreaks of cholera, which has highlighted the shortage of local vaccine production.

The Comoros, which has been affected by a cholera epidemic for the past four months, has recorded 134 deaths and more than 8,700 cases, according to a report published by local authorities this month.

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