Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2001 - Cholera in India

14 August 2001

Disease Outbreak Reported

Detected through its early warning surveillance system, the Government of Orissa has reported 34 111 cases of diarrhoea including 33 deaths, in 24 districts in Orissa State since 7 July 2001, related to the floods that occurred at that time. Orissa has a population of 37 million people, of which 8 million were affected by the floods.

Among the cases of severe acute diarrhoea in a cluster of 121 samples (taken from 5 districts) positive for Vibrio cholerae, 46 % were positive for serogroup O139. This proportion of O139 is high compared to the rates found in neighbouring Bangladesh, where there were 24 % positive isolates for O139 in non-coastal areas and 7.2 %in coastal areas in 2000.

WHO is assisting the national health authorities in continuing surveillance.

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