Better targeting at the district and neighborhood level could make anti-cholera efforts much more effective and dramatically reduce the burden of this disease, according to two new studies led by scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
One of the teams of scientists developed a high-resolution map of cholera cases in most of Africa in a study to be published in The Lancet online on March 1. These maps show that while cholera is considered endemic in many African countries, most cases of the disease are concentrated in relatively few areas. Focusing anti-cholera efforts on these hotspots could reduce the region’s annual burden of the disease by 50 percent by targeting fewer than five percent of districts in sub-Saharan Africa, the scientists estimate.
In a related study published on February 27 in PLoS Medicine, a team also led by Bloomberg School researchers modeled the rapid targeting of anti-cholera measures, including vaccination, to the areas immediately surrounding cholera victims’ dwellings. They showed that this can be an efficient strategy to limit outbreaks, as an alternative or a complement to wider-scale interventions.