Mozambique cholera death toll rises to 60

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MAPUTO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - The death toll from an outbreak of cholera in Mozambique has risen to 60, a top health official said on Thursday, prompting the government to declare an alert in the country's central province.

"The deaths are on the rise, we have 60 people dead now, 20 of them in just two days," Evelina Malora, a senior health department doctor in Manica province, told Reuters in an interview.

A government team investigating the last week's outbreak said it was caused by people drinking untreated water taken directly from the Zambezi and Luenha rivers, and from a nearby lake.

"We are trying by all means to control the epidemic. A higher alert has been declared in the province and this will help in containing the spreading of the disease", said Malora.

Cholera is transmitted by contaminated water or food. At its most acute, it causes diarrhoea that can lead to death by severe dehydration and kidney failure.

Manica is one of four provinces in the Zambezi valley, which was devastated by severe flooding earlier this year.

Manica's provincial governor, Mauricio Viera, told Radio Mozambique that authorities had sealed off Guru district to stop the disease spreading.

(Reporting by Charles Mangwiro)

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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