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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 347-352

The cholera epidemic of 2004 in Douala, Cameroon: A lesson learned


1 University of Rostock, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Rostock, Germany
2 Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Yaoundé, Cameroon
3 University of Rostock, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biostatistics and Informatics in Medicine and Ageing Research, Rostock, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Christoph J Hemmer
MD, University Medicine Rostock, Ernst Heydemann-Strasse 6, D-18057 Rostock
Germany
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1995-7645.262563

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Objective: To describe the outbreak of 2004 with a view of retrospectively identifying factors that might explain the low case fatality rate. Methods: Outbreak data from 4 915 Cholera patients from registers of the Regional Health Delegation in Douala were analyzed using SPSS. Chi-square test, univariate and multivariate analysis were applied. Results: The outbreak started January 2004, peaking at 187 cases per week in February. After a decrease in April, case numbers rose to 688 cases per week in June. The outbreak was over in September 2004 ( <10 cases per week). The case fatality rate was higher in treatment centers with fewer than one nurse per two patients, than in those with more nursing staff. A temporary staff reduction after the first wave of the epidemic was associated with the increase of the case fatality rate during the second wave. This increase was reversed after re-instating full staff capacity. Conclusions: Providing sufficient nursing staff helps to lower the case fatality rate of cholera. Besides a lack of staff, age above 40 years is a risk factor for death in this disease.


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