Mayotte cholera outbreak: 3-year-old child dies in French territory as cases hit 58

French gendarmes secure the area at a water point on the French Indian Ocean territory of Mayotte, 2023.
French gendarmes secure the area at a water point on the French Indian Ocean territory of Mayotte, 2023. Copyright Gregoire Merot/AP Photo, File
Copyright Gregoire Merot/AP Photo, File
By Lauren Chadwick
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A child died of the diarrhoeal disease amid an ongoing outbreak in the French territory of Mayotte.


A 3-year-old child died in the French overseas territory of Mayotte this week due to cholera, local authorities said.

It is the first death since a case of cholera was first reported in March on the island near Madagascar.

"Intervention teams went to the site to treat people close to the child," the local French authorities and health agency said in a statement.

The child lived in the area of Koungou where the cholera cases have been identified in the last few weeks.

As of the regional health agency's update on May 6, there were 58 cholera cases.

This week's health update specified that 380 contacts of people with cholera had been treated and more than 4,000 contacts vaccinated since the beginning of the outbreak.

Struggling with local outbreaks

Cholera is a diarrhoeal disease caused by a bacterium spread through contaminated food or water. It often impacts communities without access to clean drinking water.

Neighbouring countries are also struggling with outbreaks of the bacterial illness.

Estelle Youssouffa, an MP representing Mayotte, described the situation as an emergency, demanding the French government vaccinate, disinfect, and distribute water, and limit irregular immigration.

French health minister Frédéric Valletoux visited Koungou on Thursday, where he said he spoke with inhabitants and health workers.

He wrote in a post on X that health workers, associations, and reserve workers were handling "prevention, vaccination, screening, and care".

The regional health agency recommends frequent hand washing and drinking only safe water but the island still grapples with cuts to water access.

Mayotte has recurring water shortages that intensified due to the drought last year, UNICEF said in a report earlier this year.

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