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Health Alert: Cholera Outbreak (January 12, 2024)
January 16, 2024

Health Alert – U.S. Embassy, Lusaka, Zambia:  Cholera Outbreak

Location:  Zambia, countrywide

The Zambia National Public Health Institute reported an outbreak of cholera in Lusaka in October 2023.  Since October 2023, there have been 8,276 cumulative cholera cases, with 333 deaths, and a case fatality rate of 4% which is four times the World Health Organization threshold.  The majority of the cases have occurred in December 2023 and January 2024.   Lusaka is the worst-affected province with 7,783 suspected cases of cholera since October 2023, but all provinces with the exception of Luapula have reported cholera cases.  Cholera is primarily caused by consuming contaminated water and simple steps can reduce the likelihood of contracting the disease.

Symptoms of cholera include:

  • profuse watery diarrhea, sometimes described as “rice-water stools”
  • vomiting
  • thirst
  • leg cramps
  • restlessness or irritability

Actions to take for preventing cholera:

  • Use bottled water or water that has been properly boiled, chlorinated, or filtered using a filter that can remove bacteria, to brush your teeth, wash and prepare food, and make ice or beverages
  • Wash hands often with soap and safe water
  • Use toilets
  • For food remember to: boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it

Actions to take if you feel ill with cholera symptoms:

  • Take oral rehydration solution (ORS) immediately and seek prompt medical attention

For more information visit:



U.S. Embassy Lusaka

+(260) 211-357-000
+(260) 966-050-123
+(260) 761-107-000
Email:  ACSLusaka@state.gov

State Department – Consular Affairs +1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444
Zambia Country Information
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