AFRICA/GUINEA - A new strain of cholera continues to increase infection

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Conakry (Agenzia Fides) - This year a new strain of cholera has infected more than 7000 people in Guinea. According to a group of epidemiologists it is an atypical variant of Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor which secretes a toxin more harmful than that of conventional strains, creating a more virulent infection with more severe symptoms and increased risk of infection. It seems that this strain arrived in Guinea from Sierra Leone, where cholera has infected this year 22.345 people. Experts are alarmed as El Tor anticipates even more serious strains and believe that the variant has been imported recently. Africa, in particular the western part, is the only continent in the world where cholera cases are increasing. This type of strain was present in Zimbabwe and in the basin of Lake Chad in 2009, and is currently in Haiti. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 19/12/2012)