Volume 75, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The global temporal and spatial distribution of cholera is underappreciated, given the lack of surveillance in endemic areas and economic disincentives to report outbreaks. To judge the use of specific novel interventions such as vaccines or anti-secretory agents, we compiled a database and analyzed cholera reports from the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases from 1995 to 2005. Of the 632 reports meeting the search criteria, 66% originated in Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by 16.8% from Southeast Asia. Reported outbreaks in Africa tended to be larger in size. The most common risk factors were water source contamination, heavy rainfall and flooding, and population dislocation. While cholera reporting is sub-optimal, this review provides a detailed sub-national quantification of cholera, identifies foci of endemicity in Africa, and describes risk factors by region. We highlight the need for more extensive outbreak reporting to justify investments in new interventions.


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  • Received : 20 Apr 2006
  • Accepted : 10 Jul 2006
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