Overseas briefs

This report published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 22, No 11, 29 October 1998 contains brief reports on outbreaks of disease in countries other than Australia, as summarised from the WHO disease outbreaks Website.

Page last updated: 04 November 1998

A print friendly PDF version is available from this Communicable Diseases Intelligence issue's table of contents.

World Health Organization (WHO)

This material has been condensed from information on the WHO internet site. A link to this site can be found under 'Related sites' on the CDI homepage.

Diarrhoeal diseases


The devastating floods which are sweeping the country began in early July this year and 52 districts out of a total of 64 with nearly 20 million people (25% of the total population) are affected. The death toll was reported as 730 up to 7 September 1998. Most of the districts currently affected are also endemic for diarrhoeal diseases and some outbreaks of acute diarrhoea have occurred. Over 185,000 people have so far been affected and 151 have died.



The cholera season in Somalia is now approaching. It is expected to be particularly deadly in Mogadishu this year, due to a variety of factors including internal displacement of people and poor facilities.


Since June when the outbreak began, cholera cases have been reported in the provinces of Extrême-Nord, Nord and Littoral, constituting a total of 1106 cases and 113 deaths. In the province of Extrême-Nord, 13 districts out of 22 have been affected by the outbreak. The 2 most affected are Kousseri, to the west of Djamena (104 cases and 24 deaths), and urban Maroua, the provincial capital (154 cases and 12 deaths). Since the start of the outbreak, this province has reported a total of 633 cases and 107 deaths (case-fatality rate, 17%). In the province of Nord, only Garoua, the provincial capital 200 km from Maroua, has reported cholera cases (4 cases and 2 deaths).

Cholera is endemic in the province of Littoral, especially in Douala, the country's main economic centre, where since the beginning of the year, 469 cases and 2 deaths have been reported. The Ministry of Health has taken the necessary measures to control the outbreak.

West Africa

There has been a recrudescence of cholera in the West Africa region since September 1998. Some countries in the region have been reporting cases of cholera since the beginning of the year. As from September, however, there has been a considerable increase in the number of countries reporting from the region and in the number of cases. Eleven countries are currently reporting cases of cholera with, for the time being, a relatively acceptable case fatality rate. The ministries of health of the countries affected are taking steps to ensure adequate case management and prevent further spread. These measures have been quite successful so far. WHO is concerned about the potential deterioration of the situation in the region and therefore strongly recommends the strengthening of epidemic preparedness and response activities for the countries in West Africa.

This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 22, No 11, 29 October 1998.

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This issue - Vol 22, No 11, 29 October 1998