Zimbabwe, one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, is facing a serious outbreak of cholera that has claimed thousands of lives. The unfortunate reality is that cholera is a waterborne disease, and Zimbabwe has been struggling with clean water shortages for many years. As it stands, travelers and tourists visiting Zimbabwe should take serious precautions to avoid getting infected by the deadly disease.
This comprehensive guide will provide you with essential information on the current cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe 2023 and practical steps to stay safe if you plan to travel there.
1. What is Cholera?
Cholera is a bacterial infection that affects the small intestine. It is caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which can be contracted through consuming contaminated water or food. The most common symptoms of cholera include severe diarrhoea, vomiting, and dehydration, which can quickly lead to death within hours if left untreated.
2. The Cholera Outbreak in Zimbabwe
The cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe began in 2023, and the country is struggling to contain it. Unfortunately, this situation is not new to the country, as it has experienced previous outbreaks in 2008 and 2018. So far, more than 200,000 cases of cholera have been reported, with the death toll reaching over 4,000.
3. Precautionary Measures to Take
If you plan to travel to Zimbabwe, there are vital precautions that you must take to avoid getting infected with cholera. Here are some useful tips:
– Drink only bottled or boiled water.
– Avoid consuming raw fruits and vegetables, as they may have been washed with contaminated water.
– Take extra care when handling food and ensure it is cooked thoroughly before eating.
– Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water.
– Carry a hand sanitizer with you in case washing facilities are scarce.
– Cover any open wounds to prevent infection.
4. Vaccination against Cholera
Vaccination is an essential part of staying safe from cholera in Zimbabwe. Since vaccination does not provide full protection, you must take other precautionary measures listed above to stay safe.
5. Seek Medical Help
If you are experiencing any symptoms of cholera, such as diarrhea and vomiting, you should seek medical help immediately. You must not take it lightly, as cholera can be fatal within a few hours if not treated early.
n conclusion, the current cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe is a concerning and devastating human tragedy. To stay safe from this deadly disease, travelers should take necessary precautions to avoid getting infected. Drinking only bottled or boiled water, taking extra care when handling food, washing hands regularly, and seeking medical attention if you feel unwell are crucial steps to take when traveling to Zimbabwe.
Let us all come together to support the people of Zimbabwe, who are battling this deadly disease. By following these simple steps, we can ensure that we all stay safe from cholera, whether we are visiting Zimbabwe or not.
Do you need a cholera vaccination?