Lebanon health ministry announces end of cholera outbreak

Lebanon health ministry announces end of cholera outbreak
Lebanon's ministry of health has said the spread of cholera is over.
2 min read
11 June, 2023
Vaccines were rolled out in November, shortly after the spread began [Getty]

The Lebanese health ministry announced on Sunday the end of the cholera epidemic in the country, with no new infections recorded since the end of February.

"The cholera outbreak in Lebanon has ended," the ministry’s health emergency program said in a statement, according to the state-run National News Agency.

The ministry said the announcement comes as per recommendations from the World Health Organization that the epidemic can be declared over if four weeks have passed since the registration of the last confirmed case.

It confirmed that it will continue to intensify awareness campaigns.

In October last year, Lebanon recorded its first case of cholera since 1993. The waterborne disease spread quickly and more dangerously in neighbouring Syria, where the infrastructure was battered by 12 years of war.

A vaccine campaign launched by the Lebanese health ministry and international partners started on 13 November. Over half a million vaccines were distributed across Lebanon, and in December authorities said the spread had begun to slow down with fewer cases being registered.

Cholera is spread by water contaminated by human faeces and causes severe dehydration, and in severe cases can lead to death if not treated.

Lebanon’s poor water infrastructure - including the lack of a proper sewage network, exacerbated by the energy crisis - was blamed for the disease’s spread.

It shed light again on the rampant corruption the country has suffered for decades.