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Old 09-10-2010, 01:30 PM
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Default Cholera stalks West Africa as rains spread disease

WOW just clean water could have prevented this...

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Cholera stalks West Africa as rains spread disease

By JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press Writer Jon Gambrell, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 49 mins ago

GANJUWA, Nigeria – Patients jammed rudimentary clinics and health workers in surgical masks sprayed anti-bacterial solution on muddy paths as the government struggled to contain a cholera epidemic that has killed nearly 800 Nigerians in two months.

The worst epidemic in Nigeria in 19 years is spreading to Cameroon, Chad and Niger, where it has killed hundreds more.

At a maternity clinic and a nearby hospital in Ganjuwa, patients with blank eyes lay contorted on fouled mattresses from severe diarrhea triggered by the cholera. Small children laying under traditional brightly colored cloth were hooked up to IV tubes as doctors tried to save them by rehydrating them intravenously.

As more and more patients arrived and occupied all the beds in the wards, doctors had to put them into storerooms and concrete hallways wet with human waste.

Throughout villages like Ganjuwa and cities across West Africa, lack of clean drinking water is allowing the waterborne bacterial disease to bloom. In Nigeria, 13,000 people have been sickened, according to the nation's Health Ministry.

Salisu Garba needs only to look at a communal trash pit outside his family's home in Ganjuwa to see how the cholera bacteria sickened and ultimately killed his 20-year-old brother. Seasonal rains have turned the trash pit into a pond of raw sewage, which seeps into nearby wells, infecting Garba's family and others in this rural village in northern Nigeria.

"That pond is a source of worry," Garba said. "We don't have any hope."

"These areas become breeding ground for cholera," said Chris Cormency, a UNICEF official monitoring the epidemic.

Cormency said the disease began in Nigeria and then spread to neighboring Cameroon, where more than 300 people have died and 5,000 have fallen ill. In Chad, more than 40 have died and 600 are sickened, while the disease also has popped up in nearby Niger, he said. It was not immediately clear how many people were affected there.

After someone was found sick with cholera on a train in Cameroon, the other 1,500 people onboard panicked. Health officials gave out antibiotics and tried to decontaminate the train, media in Cameroon reported.

Cholera is a fast-developing, highly contagious infection that causes diarrhea, leading to severe dehydration and possible death. The current outbreak is the worst in Nigeria since 1991, when 7,654 people died, according to the World Health Organization.

Cholera is easily preventable with clean water and sanitation but in places like West Africa, sanitation often remains an afterthought in teeming city slums and mudwalled villages.

In Nigeria, almost half the country's 150 million people lack access to clean water and proper sanitation, according to the WHO, even though the government earns billions of dollars a year as one of Africa's top oil exporters.

Poor sanitation "is the backbone of this disease," said Adamu Abubakar, a Red Cross official in Bauchi state, a rural region of rolling mountains and pasturelands where Ganjuwa sits.

Doctors at the maternity clinic, which during this crisis has been transformed into a cholera hospital, try to keep the disease from spreading by waving off well-wishers and preventing ill mothers from holding their children.

The poorly funded clinics put patients on torn, yellow foam mattresses, with only a plastic bucket underneath to catch the waste that drains off.

...............................................Con tinued............................................ ....
Cholera stalks West Africa as rains spread disease - Yahoo! News

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Old 03-20-2017, 09:13 AM
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Cholera outbreak in Malawi...

Malawi Registers New Cases of Cholera
March 17, 2017 — Malawi has started registering new cases of cholera in areas bordering Mozambique, one week after the government in Malawi warned of a cholera outbreak in the neighboring country.
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The disease — an acute diarrheal infection caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium — affects children and adults, and can kill within hours if left untreated. Malawi last registered cholera cases in 2015, but now health authorities in Malawi say they have found new cases at a health center in Nsanje district bordering Mozambique. "So far we have 11 suspected cases, all in Ndamera health center," said Alexander Juwa, the district health officer in Nsanje. "Here we did what we call a Rapid Diagnostic Testing, and it came out positive. We have set up a treatment unit there, and nobody has died."


A child suffering cholera symptoms receives serum at a hospital

Juwa said they haven't confirmed whether the outbreak is a spillover from Mozambique, because none of the cholera patients had contact with anyone from there. "When we did a follow-up of the cases, it appears communities have clean water supplies," Juwa said, "but probably we are suspecting issues to do with food preparation and food handling that might have caused the problem." Media reports in Mozambique say cholera has infected more than 1,200 people, killing two this month. The outbreak is believed to have been triggered by Tropical Cyclone Dineo, which hit the country last month.

In Zimbabwe, the health ministry says it has detected three suspected cases of cholera in Chipinge district, which borders Mozambique. "The area where the cases have been reported is adjacent to the border, where there is an influx of people coming from Mozambique," said Aldrin Musiiwa, the deputy minister of health. "There are cases of cholera which have been reported in the adjacent Manica province of Mozambique." Meanwhile, the governments of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe are urging people to practice safe hygiene to prevent further spread of the disease.

Malawi Registers New Cases of Cholera
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UN: Cholera Reaches South Sudan's Second-largest City
March 10, 2017 — The United Nations says South Sudan's cholera outbreak has reached the country's second-largest city, as the number of cases nationwide rises beyond 5,500.
Quote:
The U.N. humanitarian agency said Friday that cases of the sometimes fatal gastrointestinal disease have been confirmed in Malakal, which has been ravaged by the country's three-year civil war.


Relatives of Samual Moro, 30, grieve after he died of cholera, outside the cholera isolation ward at the Juba Teaching Hospital in the capital Juba, South Sudan.

The U.N. says cholera now has been confirmed in 14 South Sudan counties, with at least 137 deaths since June. Cholera cases have been reported in the two counties recently declared to be in the grip of famine, Mayendit and Leer.

Many of the country's cholera cases have been reported around the capital, Juba. Cholera is a fast-developing, highly contagious infection that can spread in areas without clean drinking water and with poor sanitation.

http://www.voanews.com/a/un-says-cho...-/3759831.html
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:58 PM
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Cholera outbreak in Somalia...

Cholera Spreads in Famine-threatened Somalia
March 31, 2017 — Deadly cholera is spreading through drought-ravaged Somalia as clean water sources dry up, a top aid official said, deepening a humanitarian crisis in a country that is on the verge of famine.
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The Horn of Africa nation has recorded more than 18,000 cases of cholera so far this year, up from around 15,000 in all of 2016 and 5,000 in a normal year, Johan Heffinck, the Somalia head of EU Humanitarian Aid, said in an email on Thursday. The current strain of the disease is unusually deadly, killing around 1 in 45 patients. Somalia is suffering from a severe drought that means more than half of its 12 million citizens are expected to need aid by July. Families have been forced to drink slimy, infected water after the rains failed and wells and rivers dried up. "We are very close to famine," Heffinck said.


Internally displaced Somali women gather to collect water from a plastic pan after fleeing from drought stricken regions near a makeshift camp in Baidoa, west of Somalia's capital Mogadishu

The Security Information Network (FSIN), which is co-sponsored by the United Nations food agency, said in a report on Friday Somalia was one of four African countries at high risk of famine. Somalia's rainy season normally runs from March to May, but there has been no rain this month. The drought has hit particularly hard in the breakaway northern region of Somaliland, where the rains began to fail in 2015, killing off animals that nomadic families rely on to survive.

'This is the last bottle'

Listless, skinny children last week lay in crowded wards in the main hospital in the regional capital Hargeisa. Three-year-old Nimaan Hassid had diarrhea for 20 days before his mother brought him to hospital. He weighs only 6.5 kilograms, less than half the normal weight for his age. Doctors say he is suffering from severe malnutrition but his grandmother, 60-year-old Fadumo Hussein, told Reuters the family has no money for food or clean water. "We don't have mineral water to give to the sick child. This is the last bottle," she said, carefully pouring it into a feeding tube inserted through his nose. In the malnutrition ward in the general hospital of Somaliland's second city Burao, Doctor Hamud Ahmed said children were also being hit hard by diseases like tuberculosis, meningitis and measles.

Children's admissions reached almost 60 in March, up fourfold from October. "This is due to the drought," Ahmed said. "When families lose all their livestock and children do not get milk, this is the famine that causes the children to suffer." If the rains fail, the country could tip into famine. Somalia's last famine, in 2011, killed more than 260,000 people. Heffinck said aid agencies were working overtime to try to prevent a similar disaster, trucking in clean water and stepping up the distribution of food and cash. "The big difference this time is that we have started the preparation and scaling up of the relief operations earlier," he said.

Cholera Spreads in Famine-threatened Somalia
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How Ebola Impacted Liberia's Appetite for Bushmeat
March 31, 2017 - When Ebola struck Liberia, consumption of bushmeat dropped dramatically. But in an odd twist, poorer households cut their consumption much more than well-to-do households.
Quote:
The findings have implications for public health, as well as wildlife conservation. Education campaigns about the risks and consequences of bushmeat hunting have focused on rural villagers near protected nature reserves. But, it turns out, the more tenacious consumers may be the wealthier city-dwellers. Bushmeat — wild animals like monkeys, duikers and pangolins — is an essential protein source for many rural West Africans, but it's also a favorite of urbanites.


Alice Jallabah, head of a bushmeat seller group, holds dried bushmeat on Oct. 7, 2014, in Monrovia. The outbreak of the Ebola virus in Liberia led to a ban on eating bushmeat.

Satisfying that demand has created, in some places, "empty forests" that are otherwise pristine but are devoid of critical wildlife. In addition, bushmeat can spread diseases like Ebola because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "human infections have been associated with hunting, butchering and processing meat from infected animals." Before the 2015 Ebola outbreak, Jessica Junker and her colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology based in Leipzig, Germany, had studied Liberians' preferences for bushmeat compared to chicken or fish.

Tradition, taste

"We asked people, 'If you were at a party and you could choose the type of meat you could eat there, what would you like to eat?'" Junker told VOA. That scenario aimed to take cost out of the equation. Bushmeat often topped the list. People prefer the taste, Junker said. Bushmeat also is often cheaper than domesticated meat. Plus, it's a traditional part of their diet. "Many people have told me, 'Well, we've always eaten bushmeat. Our fathers have eaten bushmeat,'" Junker said. When Ebola hit, she decided it would be a good time to see how attitudes toward eating wildlife had changed. Bushmeat consumption dropped, as expected. However, it dropped less among wealthier people.

Rich or poor, before Ebola, people said they ate bushmeat every other day on average. During the outbreak, that dropped to once a month among the lowest-income survey respondents, but once a week among the highest-income respondents. It's not clear why that should be, but Junker notes that poorer people hunt bushmeat themselves. "During the Ebola crisis, a lot of people didn't leave their houses," she said. In the cities, it was illegal to sell bushmeat. But "there was an underground bushmeat market," she said. "If you wanted to get bushmeat, you could still get it," as long as you had money.

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Old 04-06-2017, 05:17 PM
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Cholera strikes swampy region of So. Sudan...

Cholera stalks 'refugee islands' in swamplands of South Sudan
April 6, 2017 -- Kneeling over a pot of water drawn from the nearby swamp, Veronica feigns a smile as her eyes dart toward the floor of her small hut. "I know it's dirty but I have no other choice," says the 35-year-old South Sudanese mother of four.
Quote:
A few years earlier, Veronica lost her 3-year-old daughter to cholera. Several months ago, another of her children contracted the disease and Veronica herself spent 10 days in hospital receiving treatment. On South Sudan's tiny island of Tayar, in Unity State, there's no escaping this debilitating epidemic. Once a commercial trading island with only 200 inhabitants, Tayar is now home to 2,300 internally displaced people who have sought refuge from South Sudan's three-year civil war. They live with no toilets or running water, openly defecating in the island's surrounding swamplands. This same filthy water is then used for cooking, bathing and drinking. Thus, cholera has become rife in this makeshift community.

The deadly waterborne disease, which causes crippling diarrhea and kills through dehydration, is flourishing amid the young nation's war. Every time fighting erupts in villages, people flee their homes seeking safety wherever they can, often in isolated pockets of safety where they have few resources and little access to aid. The war has displaced 1.9 million people inside the country, while 1.6 million have fled its borders. Many, like Veronica travel for days through swamps, with no food or water until they find sanctuary. Roughly 5,800 people reside on seven remote islands in Panyijiar county, including Tayar.


A young girl in Ganyiel’s health clinic watches her 3-year-old sister who is sick with cholera. Her mother brought her over from Tayar island to seek treatment in the clinic.

These shifting populations mean that a growing number of people are crammed into small, unsanitary spaces, spawning a cholera outbreak that is unprecedented for this time of year. "It would be the worst problem if this doesn't get under control before the rainy season," says Stephen Gatliah, health director for Panyijiar county. Gatliah has seen cholera in this area before, but he says it has never been this bad in the dry season, which usually runs from December to May. After that, the onset of months of heavy rains will make tackling the epidemic even more challenging, as flooding increases the risk of contamination and further restricts humanitarian access.

A U.N. study found that more than 4,000 cholera cases were reported between June 2016 and January 2017 in 10 counties in South Sudan, of which 83 were fatal, although the true figures are likely much higher due to unreported deaths. The disease has spread to more locations and lasted longer than the previous two years. On Tayar Island 10 people have died from the disease since October and 37 have died in surrounding areas, according to community leaders.

A breeding ground for cholera
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:37 PM
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Cholera outbreak in Yemen...

Cholera outbreak in war-ravaged Yemen kills 115
Tuesday 16th May, 2017 - A cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed 115 people over the past two weeks, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the country says.
Quote:
Jamie McGoldrick told reporters that another 8,600 people were believed to have been infected, and that medicine was arriving.

But he also urged donor countries to fulfil more than one billion US dollars (£774 million) in aid pledges made in Geneva last month.


A cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed 115 people over the past two weeks, the UN says.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015, in a war that has killed more than 10,000 civilians.

The World Health Organisation said last month that fewer than 45% of health facilities in Yemen are now fully functioning, and that the flow of "essential medicines" has fallen by nearly 70%.

Cholera outbreak in war-ravaged Yemen kills 115 - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk
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Old 05-18-2017, 02:53 AM
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Cholera outbreak on top of hunger crisis in Somalia...

Cholera Outbreak Compounds Hunger Crisis in Southern Somalia
May 17, 2017 — A regional drought has displaced more than half a million people in Somalia and left the country at risk of famine. A cholera outbreak is further complicating relief efforts, in particular in the southern part of the country where some villages remain under al-Shabab control.
Quote:
Somalia continues to report between 200 and 300 cases of cholera nationwide each day. Bay Regional Hospital, the biggest in the southwest federal state, is filled with patients suffering from stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Cholera has sickened more than 40,000 people in Somalia since December. More than half of the cases have been in this state. Most of the victims have been malnourished children. Five-year-old Fatuma was admitted to the cholera treatment ward last night. Her mother, Bisharo Mohammed, says she can not lose another child. She says her eldest daughter was suffering from diarrhea, and she died two months ago in Busley village on the outskirts of Baidoa. She says the girl was seven years old.

Cholera treatment

Cholera is treatable. The World Health Organization recommends “prompt administration of oral rehydration salts.” Mohamed says Fatuma is already feeling better with treatment. They hope to be released soon. But they will not be going home. Aid agencies say the areas worst hit by cholera and hunger are villages like Busley, which are under al-Shabab control. Accessing them is a challenge. Fatuma and her family are among the tens of thousands of people who have walked to government-controlled areas like Baidoa to seek help and are now living in makeshift camps.


An internally displaced Somali family is seen outside their makeshift shelter at a camp after fleeing from drought stricken regions in Baidoa, west of Somalia's capital Mogadishu

World Health Organization cholera expert Dr. Abdinasir Abubakar says the outbreak is getting worse due to security challenges. “If you look at Bay, Bakool, Middle Juba, Gedo, some of those areas where none of us is able to access, the deaths and cases due to cholera [are] very high, and we expect the situation will get worse,” says Abubakar. Rains this month in southern and central Somalia have contributed to a surge in cholera cases, according to Salima Sheikh Shuaib, cholera treatment ward deputy supervisor at Bay Regional Hospital. She says “the cholera cases were going down, but the past three days we have seen an increase in cholera cases. This morning, we have received 16 cases and most of them are children under the age of five.”

Life in camps

More than 150,000 displaced people are living in the makeshift camps around Baidoa and more continue to arrive. At the camps, many families do not have plastic tarps or covered places to sleep. Stagnant puddles and mud dot the walkways. There is no regular food provided. Clean water is available, but it is not enough. Medics supported by UNICEF and the WHO are going to IDP camps around Baidoa to provide oral cholera vaccination to children.


Displaced Somali girls who fled the drought in southern Somalia stand in a queue to receive food handouts at a feeding center in a camp in Mogadishu, Somalia.

But Abubakar of the WHO says it is hard to contain the spread of cholera so long as the general humanitarian situation is not improving. “We cannot only solve cholera. We cannot only deal with cholera unless we deal with food insecurity, unless we deal with water issues, malnutrition and I think collectively, both the wash, the health, the nutrition, and the food security partners, we are working closely and we are coordinating but again in Somalia one of the challenges we are facing [is] a shortage of resources to support all these interventions,” said Abubakar. Somalia continues to report between 200 and 300 cases of cholera nationwide each day.

Cholera Outbreak Compounds Hunger Crisis in Southern Somalia
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:27 PM
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Yemen rife with cholera...

Yemen Cholera Outbreak Could Reach 300,000
May 19, 2017 - Yemen could see as many as 250,000 new cases of cholera within six months, in addition to 50,000 already reported, the World Health Organization said Friday.
Quote:
"The speed of the resurgence of this cholera epidemic is unprecedented," Nevio Zagaria, WHO country representative for Yemen, told reporters during a conference call on Friday. He said the death toll from the outbreak has already reached 240 and more than 50,000 cases have been registered in the past three weeks.


Girls are treated for a suspected cholera infection at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen

Two years into a war between Houthi rebels and government forces allied with a Saudi-led Arab military coalition, which has killed more than 8,000 people, Yemen has declared a state of emergency Sunday in the capital, Sana'a, over the outbreak. Fighting has taken a toll on medical facilities in the war-torn country, as more than half of Yemen's facilities, which are now operated by Houthi rebels, no longer function.

The U.N. says some 17 million of Yemen's 26 million people lack sufficient food and at least three million malnourished children are in "grave peril." Yemen, which is the Arab world's poorest nation, is now classified by the World Health Organization as a level three emergency, alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq. This is the country's second cholera outbreak in less than a year. Cholera is highly contagious and can be contracted from ingesting contaminated food and water.

Yemen Cholera Outbreak Could Reach 300,000
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Cholera Outbreak Kills at Least 180 in Yemen
May 15, 2017 - A cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed at least 180 people since April 27, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday.
[quote]
Two years into a war between Houthi rebels and government forces allied with a Saudi-led Arab military coalition, which has killed more than 8,000 people, Yemen has declared a state of emergency in the capital Sana'a over the outbreak. Fighting has taken a toll on medical facilities in the war-torn country, as more than half of Yemen's facilities, which are now operated by Houthi rebels, no longer function.


Women are treated for a suspected cholera infection at a hospital in Sana'a, Yemen

The U.N. says some 17 million of Yemen's 26 million people lack sufficient food and at least three million malnourished children are in "grave peril." U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick and other international officials met with the health ministry in the Houthi-run capital of Sana'a, urging aid donors to assist to avoid an "unprecedented disaster."


An elderly man is treated for a suspected cholera infection in Sana'a, Yemen, May. 15, 2017. The U.N. says a cholera outbreak has killed at least 180 people over the past two weeks.

Yemen, which is the Arab world's poorest nation, is now classified by the World Health Organization as a level three emergency, alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq. Cholera is highly contagious and can be contracted from ingesting contaminated food and water.


Related:

Mozambique Declares End to Cholera Epidemic That Infected Over 2,000
May 19, 2017 — Mozambique has declared an end to a cholera epidemic that was triggered by heavy rains and infected more than 2,000 people, a senior government official said Friday.
Quote:
The outbreak was another setback for Mozambique, which is grappling with a financial crisis as it strives to woo investors to develop huge offshore gas reserves. "The epidemic is under control: In the last 28 to 29 days, we have not registered new cases of cholera and so we are declaring the epidemic terminated," Francisco Mbofana, national director of public health, told a news conference.


Cholera patients are treated at the Cholera Treatment Center in Tete district,Mozambique

Five cholera treatment centers installed in the most affected provinces have already been dismantled, Mbofana said.

Four people died between Jan. 5 and April 22 out of the 2,131 cases registered by health authorities. Last year, in the same period, 103 people died of cholera across the country. Cholera causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and is often lethal if not treated swiftly.

Mozambique Declares End to Cholera Epidemic That Infected Over 2,000
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Old 05-22-2017, 01:57 PM
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Cholera death toll rises in Yemen...

Cholera outbreak spreading at 'unprecedented' speed kills 315 in Yemen
May 21, 2017 -- A cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen has killed 315 people since April 27 and is spreading with "unprecedented" speed, the United Nations' World Health Organization said Sunday.
Quote:
More than 29,300 suspected cases have been reported in 19 of the country's 22 provinces, the agency posted on Twitter. The highest number of likely cases -- more than 6,000 -- are in the capital city, Sana'a, where the Houthi government declared a state of emergency one week ago. On Friday, the WHO warned that Yemen could have as many as 300,000 cases of cholera within six months and an "extremely high" number of deaths. "We need to expect something that could go up to 200,000-250,000 cases over the next six months, in addition to the 50,000 cases that have already occurred," Nevio Zagaria, WHO Yemen representative, told reporters in Geneva. "I have to admit that when I see the data that I saw this morning, not officially released; are really taking us by surprise. The speed of the resurgence of the cholera epidemic is unprecedented," Zagaria said.

About 7.6 million people live in Yemen's cholera-threatened areas, according to U.N. estimates. Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera. Almost 75 percent of people infected do not show any symptoms. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates three million to five million cholera cases annually and more than 100,000 deaths occur each year. Cholera can be treated by immediate replacement of the fluid and salts lost through diarrhea. But Yemenis are facing a lack of access to food, clean water and medications and more than half of the country's medical facilities are not operating, the WHO said. Burdened medical staff members haven't been paid since September.


A cholera outbreak in Yemen has spread with “unprecedented” speed and further burdened the decimated health care system, the World Health Organization said

Doctors Without Borders, the international medical humanitarian organization, warns that the outbreak is threatening to spiral out of control. "The fast spread of the current outbreak is extremely alarming," said Ghassan Abou Chaar, the organization's head of mission in Yemen. "Before the outbreak, the health system was already overstretched and people's health needs were already huge. To bring the outbreak under control, it won't be enough simply to treat those people who reach medical facilities. We also need to address the source of the disease, by improving water and sanitation and working in communities to prevent new cases."

The organization has treated 3,092 patients in four cholera treatment centers and nine cholera treatment units. Teams are expecting a delivery of more than 63 tons of supplies in a few days. The current disease outbreak is a resurgence from an episode last October that peaked in December. A power struggle has taken place between a Saudi-backed government and Iran-aligned rebels since late 2014.

Cholera outbreak spreading at 'unprecedented' speed kills 315 in Yemen within three weeks - UPI.com
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