The cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe has no end in sight. The numbers are stunning. Some 60,000 people infected and more than 3,100 deaths caused by one of the most preventable environmental diseases on the face of the planet. Cholera has spread to other African nations, including South Africa, Zambia and Malawi. Not only is the outbreak far more severe in Zimbabwe, but the fatality rate of 5% far exceeds the 1% rate seen in South Africa.
This isn’t some scene in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. It’s not even London in 1854, when a cholera epidemic took the lives of over 10,000 people and led to the creation of the field of public health. This is Africa in the 21st century and pioneering epidemiologist Dr. John Snow isn’t coming to the rescue.