FACTBOX-West and Central Africa cholera epidemic
11 Oct 2011 16:48
By George Fominyen
DAKAR (AlertNet) – A cholera epidemic sweeping through West and Central Africa has infected more than 85,000 people and killed at least 2,466 since the start of the year, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by bacteria contaminating food or water, prompting diarrhoea and vomiting. If left untreated, infected people can die of dehydration, sometimes within a matter of hours.
Following are some facts and figures on the epidemic in some of the countries in the region.
Cameroon: Nine of the country’s ten regions (provinces) have reported outbreaks of cholera, with a total of 16, 706 cases and 639 deaths as of late September. There are very few aid groups working on cholera in the country and those that have been responding are showing signs of fatigue due to the long-term nature of the epidemic. Aid agencies say there has been an alarming increase in the cases in the Littoral Region, which is home to Cameroon’s biggest city, Douala, which so far has seen only a moderate number of cases.
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