Volume 103, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



On October 6, 2017, the Zambia Ministry of Health declared a cholera outbreak in Lusaka. By December, 1,462 cases and 38 deaths had occurred (case fatality rate, 2.6%). We conducted a case–control study to identify risk factors and inform interventions. A case was any person with acute watery diarrhea (≥ 3 loose stools in 24 hours) admitted to a cholera treatment center in Lusaka from December 16 to 21, 2017. Controls were neighbors without diarrhea during the same time period. Up to two controls were matched to each case by age-group (1–4, 5–17, and ≥ 18 years) and neighborhood. Surveyors interviewed cases and controls, tested free chlorine residual (FCR) in stored water, and observed the presence of soap in the home. Conditional logistic regression was used to generate matched odds ratios (mORs) based on subdistricts and age-groups with 95% CIs. We enrolled 82 cases and 132 controls. Stored water in 71% of case homes had an FCR > 0.2 mg/L. In multivariable analyses, those who drank borehole water (mOR = 2.4, CI: 1.1–5.6), had close contact with a cholera case (mOR = 6.2, CI: 2.5–15), and were male (mOR = 2.5, CI: 1.4–5.0) had higher odds of being a cholera case than their matched controls. Based on these findings, we recommended health education about household water chlorination and hygiene in the home. Emergency responses included providing chlorinated water through emergency tanks and maintaining adequate FCR levels through close monitoring of water sources.


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  • Received : 03 Feb 2020
  • Accepted : 20 Apr 2020
  • Published online : 26 May 2020
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