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Climatic variations influence the emergence of cholera in Africa
Date:9/5/2007

In studies aiming to understand better the emergence and persistence of cholera in Africa, IRD and CNRS researchers showed the strong correlation that exists between outbreaks and the different parameters linked to climate changes in West Africa. This research (1) should provide the scientists with the basis for creating a predictive model which could improve early warning of risks by anticipating the emergence of foci of infection and therefore facilitate the deployment of protection measures for the populations affected.

Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium, the bacillus Vibrio cholerae. In 2004, 101 383 cases, including 95 000 solely for the African continent, and 2 345 deaths were reported to the World Health Organization. Global climate change has for several years been contributing greatly to the spread of cholera through associated increase in the frequency of torrential rain, floods and periods of drought. It is now established that the spread of zooplankton which harbours the Vibrio cholerae bacterium follows that of phytoplankton, whose growth is directly related to climate variations. However, a host of factors act on the climatic conditions and they are difficult to study. Certain parameters vary depending on the regions of the world whereas others act on the global scale. The interactions between the climate and emergence of cholera must therefore be studied region by region. Research has been ongoing in Bangladesh and also in South America for many years, but up to now few studies have been conducted in Africa. Yet it is on that continent that the public health situation is giving the most cause for concern.

A study published by research scientists of the Laboratoire de Gn tique et Evolution des Maladies Infectieuses (GEMI), mixed research unit IRD/CNRS (2), is the first to yield evidence of the correlations between the outbreak of cholera epidemics and climatic data in 5 West African countries (Togo, Ivory Coast,
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Contact: Gregory Flechet
fichesactu@paris.ird.fr
33-014-803-7607
Institut de Recherche Pour le Dveloppement
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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