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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cameroon cholera epidemic kills nearly 500

Via Channel 6 News :

" A major cholera epidemic in parts of Cameroon has already claimed nearly 500 lives so far this month while more than 13,000 others have been sickened this year, CNN reported on Wednesday.

Public health officials said more than 50 people have died so far in August in the Far North region alone, the hardest-hit area. Residents in the Logone and Chari divisions of the region told CNN that the majority of people infected with the disease are children under the age of five and women.

Prof. Gervais Ondobo Andze, the director of disease control at the Ministry of Public Health, told journalists on Monday that nine of the country's 10 regions are affected by cholera, an intestinal infection caused by ingestion of bacteria-contaminated food or water. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80 percent of cases can be cured by rehydrating the patient.

In Maroua, the capital of the Far North region, 1,380 cases of cholera have been reported so far this year, according to officials. Dr. Valentine Ndikum, a senior public health official, said the number could double in the coming days due to poor sanitary and hygienic conditions because of what he said was a slow government response."

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