Australian assistance is needed to control outbreaks in the short term and to develop infrastructure and health systems in the longer term
The world is currently in the midst of the seventh documented cholera pandemic, which commenced in 1960. Since 2000, there has been a global increase in the incidence of cholera with 7543 deaths globally in 2010. This pandemic is significantly different to the previous six pandemics. The fifth and sixth pandemics had been caused by the “classic” biotype and lasted from 7 to 24 years. This seventh pandemic has been caused by a new biotype of Vibrio cholerae serogroup 01 called El Tor and has persisted for over 50 years. It has become endemic in countries in which cholera had not been reported for many years.1
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