Outbreak of Cholera in Vea-Gunga, Upper East Region, Ghana, 2015: Interfamilial and household-level transmission

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Joseph K. L. Opare John Koku Awoonor-Williams Peter Nsuguba Patrick Nguku John Kofi Odoom Baba Awuni Juliana Akugre Michael Otareyoo Collins Addo Dorcas Kyeiwa Asante Olivia Serwaa Opare



Background: Cholera is an acute infectious illness with profuse watery diarrhoea caused by toxigenic Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1 or O139. An estimated 1.4–4.3 million cases and 28000-142000 deaths occur yearly. In 2014, the Upper East Region (UER) of Ghana recorded 289 cholera cases with case-fatality of 3.1%.

On June 28, 2015, Bongo-District Hospital prompted the Bongo-District Health Directorate of a cholera outbreak at Vea-Gunga, in the Bongo District (BD), UER. We investigated to verify the diagnosis, determine the magnitude, identify etiological agent, source of infection and recommend control measures.

Methods: We perform a descriptive study. A suspected cholera case-patient was a person having acute watery diarrhoea with or without vomiting at Vea-Gunga from June1to July 20, 2015. Data was obtained by record review, interview with stakeholders and active case-finding from health facilities and communities. Stool from case-patients were taken for laboratory diagnosis and the environment was assessed. Data was analysed by person, place and time with Epi-info-version-3.5.1.

Results: Of 933 community members, 13 were affected and 69.2% (9/13) were females. The overall attack rate was 1.4% (13/933) and case-fatality 15.4% (2/13). The median and intra-quartile-range age of case-patients was 28.5 (1-50) years old. Sex-specific attack rates were 0.9% (4/447) and 1.6% (9/486) for males and females respectively. Almost all 85% (11/13) of affected cases-patients were close family members of the primary case, living on the same compound. Vibrio cholerae serotype ogawa was isolated from stool samples. We observed inadequate and unsafe water supply coupled with pollution of Vea-Dam.

Conclusions: Vibrio cholerae serotype ogawa caused the Vea-Gunga cholera-outbreak. Children and females were mostly affected. The probable sources of infection were person-to-person, contamination of drinking water or food. Boiling or chlorination of water, hand washing with soap and water were initiated and this played a significant role in controlling the outbreak.

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How to Cite
OPARE, Joseph K. L. et al. Outbreak of Cholera in Vea-Gunga, Upper East Region, Ghana, 2015: Interfamilial and household-level transmission. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 4, apr. 2017. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/1119>. Date accessed: 17 apr. 2024.
Cholera, Outbreak, Water pollution, Watery diarrhoea, Ghana
Research Articles


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