Cholera outbreak kills nine in northern Iraq

A cholera outbreak in two northern Iraqi provinces has killed nine people and infected at least 131, Iraqi health officials said Sunday.

Cholera outbreak kills nine in northern Iraq
A cholera outbreak in two northern Iraqi provinces has killed nine people and infected at least 131, Iraqi health officials said Sunday.

In Kirkuk, the deputy director of the local health department, Borhan Abdallah, said 35 people were infected, one of whom died. Over 2,500 suspected cases of the disease hd been treated over the last week, Abdallah said.

The health department of Kirkuk, 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, has received 100,000 dollars in aid from the World Health Organization, Abdallah said.

The central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish autonomous region have given direct help to fight the outbreak, according to Abdallah.

Kurdish Health Minister Ziriyan Othman said 96 cases were confirmed out of 3,000 suspected cases - eight of whom died over the last weeks in the city of A-Sulaymanyah, 350 kilometres north of Baghdad.

Poor water quality and problems with the sewage treatment are the causes of the outbreak.

The spokesman for the government of the Kurdish Autonomous Region, jamal Abdallah, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa: "The government has allocated 400,000 dollars to fund the fight on cholera and the installation of 40 water purification systems in A-Sulaymanyah.

Health authorities have warned earlier of possible outbreaks in other areas, such as Baghdad where suspected cases of cholera have been recorded.

Cases of cholera, which is a bacterial infection causing diarrhea and vomiting, appear every year at this time of the year but the rate this year has been higher than the recorded cases in the last three years.

DPA
Last Mod: 02 Eylül 2007, 17:49
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