Short report: Does water hyacinth on East African lakes promote cholera outbreaks?

Daniel R. Feikin, Collins W. Tabu, John Gichuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Cholera outbreaks continue to occur regularly in Africa. Cholera has been associated with proximity to lakes in East Africa, and Vibrio cholerae has been found experimentally to concentrate on the floating aquatic plant, water hyacinth, which is periodically widespread in East African lakes since the late 1980s. From 1994 to 2008, Nyanza Province, which is the Kenyan province bordering Lake Victoria, accounted for a larger proportion of cholera cases than expected by its population size (38.7% of cholera cases versus 15.3% of national population). Yearly water-hyacinth coverage on the Kenyan section of Lake Victoria was positively associated with the number of cholera cases reported in Nyanza Province (r = 0.83; P = 0.0010). Water hyacinth on freshwater lakes might play a role in initiating cholera outbreaks and causing sporadic disease in East Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-373
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume83
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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