Cholera and Climate Change: What’s the Link?

After years of regular reduction in the number of cases and deaths, cholera is on the rise again — and climate change is contributing to the increase.

As climate change’s effects intensify, cholera cases are spiking. The number of people annually affected by the disease is estimated to be between 1.3 and 4 million. However, if we look at specific data from the last year, we can clearly see a sharp escalation of cases in most countries.

“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,” Dr. Barboza, the World Health Organization (WHO) Team Lead for Cholera and Epidemic Diarrhoeal Diseases, said in December 2022, adding that these outbreaks are “occurring after several years of regular reduction in the number of cases and deaths.”

According to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s monthly update, as of July 2023 the countries with the highest cholera cases are Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Ethiopia, and Cameroon. 


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