Cholera Outbreak in Grande Comore: 1998–1999

Christopher Troeger, Jean Gaudart, Romain Truillet, Kankoe Sallah, Dennis L. Chao, Renaud Piarroux

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

November 16, 2015


In 1998, a cholera epidemic in east Africa reached the Comoros Islands, an archipelago in the Mozambique Channel that had not reported a cholera case for more than 20 years. In just a little over 1 year (between January 1998 and March 1999), Grande Comore, the largest island in the Union of the Comoros, reported 7,851 cases of cholera, about 3% of the population. Using case reports and field observations during the medical response, we describe the epidemiology of the 1998–1999 cholera epidemic in Grande Comore. Outbreaks of infectious diseases on islands provide a unique opportunity to study transmission dynamics in a nearly closed population, and they may serve as stepping-stones for human pathogens to cross unpopulated expanses of ocean.