Mayotte: a first case of cholera imported from the Comoros has been detected

Mayotte: a first case of cholera imported from the Comoros has been detected

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A first case of cholera from the Comoros, where the epidemic has been raging since the beginning of the year, was detected Mayottethe prefecture of this overseas territory confirmed on Tuesday.

Arriving on Sunday from Anjouan in the north of the island, the infected person was treated in the “cholera” unit of the Mayotte hospital center (CHM) on Monday evening, according to the same source. “She has been treated and she is better,” assured prefect François-Xavier Bieuville during a press conference.

Cholera is an acute form of diarrhea which can kill within hours and is spread by bacteria usually transmitted through contaminated water or food.

Reinforced border health controls and field interventions

While cases have been increasing in the neighboring archipelago of the Comoros for several weeks, the Regional Health Agency (ARS) presented in February a response plan in the event of the introduction of the disease into Mayotte. Health controls at borders and field interventions have been strengthened, and a secure hospital care circuit has been put in place to avoid contamination. The ARS also deployed medical and paramedical investigation resources.

Monday evening, a team went to the patient’s place of residence to identify contact cases and provide them with the first treatments, the ARS said in a press release. A team returned to the site on Tuesday to disinfect the home and disseminate health recommendations to the neighborhood. The prefecture and the ARS call on the population to observe hygiene measures to avoid any contamination or transmission of the disease, such as drinking controlled water and washing their hands.

“To avoid or contain a cholera epidemic, the population must have access to drinking water for drinking, washing, cooking, etc. However, this is not the case in Mayotte since 18% of the population does not have access to drinking water at home,” recalled Manon Gallego, France director of the NGO Solidarités International, in a press release.

Mayotte experienced its most serious drought since 1997 in 2023 and was faced with an unprecedented water shortage from August onwards. To deal with this, the State organized distributions of drinking water and intensified running water cuts, to the point of only providing access one day out of three.

Heavy rainfall in December and January allowed these restrictions to be gradually lifted, even if the Mahorais still have to suffer from water cuts every other day.

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