Cholera

Environmental risk factors

Cholera – a waterborne disease – is closely linked to poor environmental conditions. The absence or shortage of safe water and of proper sanitation, as well as poor waste management, are the main causes of spread of the disease. These factors conducive to epidemics concur in many places in the developing world, and even more acutely in overcrowded settings, where cholera is either endemic or a recurrent problem. Typical at-risk areas are peri-urban slums, with precarious basic infrastructures, as well as internally displaced or refugee camps, where minimum requirements of clean water and sanitation are not met. However, inhabitants of rural areas, particularly along rivers and lake shores, are not spared. Populations most affected are the ones living in insalubrious conditions, where environmental safety is not ensured.