The Papua New Guinea cholera outbreak: implications for PNG, Australia and the Torres Strait

John J Hall, James A Gillespie, Alexander Rosewell and Pilly Mapira
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10516
Published online: 4 November 2013

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

  • 1 Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW.
  • 2 Menzies Centre for Health Policy, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
  • 4 Department of Public Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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