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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Somalia : Cholera Outbreak?

Sun, 08 Mar 2009 19:13:12 GMT

A Somali woman infected
with cholera
Over 13 people have died and eighty others have been infected with the fatal disease of cholera in middle Shabelle region of southern Somalia.

As many as thirteen people have succumbed to death and eighty others have been inflicted with the water-borne disease in cholera-endemic areas of Middle Shabelle region. There were kids as young as 7 and 8 among those admitted to medical centers across the region, a doctor told Press TV.

Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but sometimes it can be severe.

Approximately one in 20 infected persons has severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In such cased, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

An outbreak of the disease in southern African nation of Zimbabwe has so far seen 88,000 reported cases of infection leading to nearly 4,000 deaths.

It is difficult to establish the full extent of the suspected cholera outbreak because Somalia has not had a central medical authority for 16 years to coordinate a response to any disease outbreak or provide details.

The Horn of Africa nation has been mired in anarchy since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on one another.

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