Cholera cases in the French department of Mayotte double in two days

The number of cholera cases in the French department of Mayotte has doubled in two days, according to local health officials, who identified the first locally-acquired cases last week. The island in the Indian Ocean has been battling a cholera epidemic since the start of the year, brought by migrants from Democratic Republic of Congo, transiting through neighbouring Comoros islands.

Health authorities in Mayotte on Sunday said they had identified 26 cases of cholera, compared to 13 two days before, and the hospital capacity to treat patients is already stretched.

France's poorest department

“The situation at the hospital in Mayotte, in terms of human resources, is very critical, especially in emergency services,” Olivier Brahic, the director of Mayotte's Regional health agency (ARS), told a news conference.

Cholera is an infectious disease typically causing severe diarrhoea, vomiting and muscle cramps and spreads easily under insufficient sanitation conditions

Earlier this month authorities launched an operation against unsanitary housing, insecurity and illegal immigration in Mayotte, France’s poorest department.

Many migrants travel to Mayotte from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is facing a cholera epidemic that killed hundreds of people last year.

On Friday the ARS said that it had identified three patients who contracted cholera in Mayotte, the first cases that originated on the island.

(with AFP)

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