Local cholera cases reported in French Indian Ocean island Mayotte

Mayotte, a French island in the Indian Ocean, on Friday reported its first locally acquired cases of cholera, in addition to 10 imported cases detected over the past month.

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The ARS health authority said the three new patients were probably contaminated through contact with a sick person who failed to seek treatment.

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

ARS director Olivier Brahic told a news conference that the three cases were detected in the region of Koungou in the island’s northeast. They are a woman, a man and a baby, who are unrelated to each other.

A campaign to identify further cases, administer antibiotics and vaccinate people in the area would begin shortly, Brahic said. Additional medical staff were expected to arrive on Saturday.

Mayotte’s 10 previous cases arrived on the island from elsewhere, mostly from the neighbouring Comoros which has been battling a cholera epidemic since the start of the year.

Many migrants travel through the Comoros on their way to Mayotte from the Democratic Republic of Congo, itself facing a cholera epidemic that killed hundreds last year.

Mayotte is France’s 101st and poorest administrative region and anti-immigrant groups have launched protests against new arrivals despite a vow from Paris to tighten citizenship rules.

Part of the Comoros archipelago, Mayotte voted to remain part of France in 1974, when the other three islands sought and won independence.


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