Zimbabwe, cholera +…

This item appears on page 21 of the February 2009 issue.

The political instability and economic crisis in Zimbabwe have resulted in small-scale civil demonstrations and riots by military personnel and a general deterioration of government services and infrastructure, including the near collapse of the public health system. 

Authorities may forcefully disband demonstrations.

The State Department urges travelers to Zimbabwe to keep travel documents up to date, avoid all public demonstrations and have contingency plans ready for their own health and security.

A cholera outbreak in late 2008 spread to all of Zimbabwe’s provinces, with 29,131 suspected cases and 1,564 deaths reported from Aug. 26 to Dec. 22. Neighboring countries also have reported cases. Visitors should drink (and prepare food with) boiled or bottled water and regularly wash their hands with a sanitizer.