by Kevin M. Cahill, M.D., D.T.M. & H. (Lond.), Head, Department of Epidemiology, Director of Tropical Medicine, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Egypt and The Sudan. xiii + 225 pages, illustrated. J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia and Montreal. 1964. $9.50
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest reported cholera incidence and mortality rates in the world. In 1997, a cholera epidemic occurred in western Kenya. Between June 1997 and March 1998, 14,275 cholera admissions to hospitals in Nyanza Province in western Kenya were reported. There were 547 deaths (case fatality rate = 4%). Of 31 Vibrio cholerae O1 isolates tested, all but one were sensitive to tetracycline. We performed a case-control study among 61 cholera patients and age-, sex-, and clinic-matched controls. Multivariate analysis showed that risk factors for cholera were drinking water from Lake Victoria or from a stream, sharing food with a person with watery diarrhea, and attending funeral feasts. Compared with other diarrheal pathogens, cholera was more common among persons living in a village bordering Lake Victoria. Cholera has become an important public health concern in western Kenya, and may become an endemic pathogen in the region.