Zambia faces a double epidemic of cholera and anthrax: an unprecedented health crisis

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Health Crisis in Zambia: Confrontation with Two Deadly Epidemics

The Simultaneous Appearance of Cholera and Anthrax

Faced with the simultaneous emergence of two health scourges, Zambia finds itself in an alarming situation. While the country was already battling an anthrax outbreak, the largest in more than a decade, an increase in deaths linked to cholera further complicated the health situation.

The number of victims is increasing rapidly

In just one day, cholera claimed four lives in the Lusaka metropolis, bringing the national death toll to 64 since the start of the year. The capital city concentrates a significant part of these deaths, with also more than 1,600 cases of infections recorded. This is the message sent by the Zambian public health agency.

Cholera: Rapid contamination

An infectious disease transmitted by consumption of contaminated water or food, cholera manifests itself through acute diarrhea and its spread is accelerating, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The Zambian Minister of Health, Sylvia Masebo, announced the distribution of chlorine to purify water in the affected regions and encouraged the population to adopt strict hygiene measures.

The Threat of Anthrax

Shortly after this worrying announcement, the WHO revealed that Zambia was also battling anthrax, a disease also known as anthrax, with four deaths and around 700 suspected cases since the start of the year. This pathogen, Bacillus anthracis, can remain dormant for many years and is dangerous to humans. The WHO has highlighted that 26 of these suspected cases result from the consumption of meat from the carcasses of infected hippos and warns of the increased risk of contagion to neighboring nations, due to the usual cross-border movements of populations and animals.

The Regional Situation

In addition to Zambia, adjacent countries such as Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe have also reported anthrax cases. Between them, these countries have recorded around twenty deaths and more than 1,100 suspected cases for the current year.

Summary Table of Anthrax Cases in the Region

Country Number of deaths Number of suspected cases
Zambia 4 700
Kenya X X
Malawi X X
Uganda X X
Zimbabwe X X



Finally, this double epidemiological crisis places the Zambian authorities and international organizations such as the WHO facing an immense health challenge. It is imperative that joint efforts and prophylactic measures be strengthened to limit the spread of these deadly epidemics and protect populations at risk.


Finally, this double epidemiological crisis places the Zambian authorities and international organizations such as the WHO facing an immense health challenge. It is imperative that joint efforts and prophylactic measures be strengthened to limit the spread of these deadly epidemics and protect populations at risk.

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