WHO says Zimbabwe cholera death toll tops 1700

A cholera update dated Jan. 5 showed a further 59 deaths and 731 new cases.

WHO says Zimbabwe cholera death toll tops 1700

Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic is picking up speed, with a total of 1,732 deaths out of 34,306 cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

A cholera update dated Jan. 5 showed a further 59 deaths and 731 new cases, up from 32 deaths and 379 fresh cases reported the previous day, it said.

The waterborne disease, which causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration, has spread to all of Zimbabwe's 10 provinces because of the collapse of health and sanitation systems.

On Monday Health Minister David Parirenyatwa said the epidemic could get worse as the rainy season develops.

The rainy season peaks in January or February and ends in late March, and floods, which can affect Zimbabwe's low-lying areas, may increase the spreading of the disease.

The epidemic is adding to the humanitarian crisis in the country, where President Robert Mugabe and the opposition are deadlocked over a power-sharing deal and the veteran leader is resisting Western calls to step down.

Reuters
Last Mod: 06 Ocak 2009, 12:36
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