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Cholera kills 17, over 300 cases recorded in South Sudan

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July 28, 2016 (JUBA) – At least 17 people have died from recent Cholera outbreaks in South Sudan and 340 cases of the disease registered in recent weeks, the health ministry said.

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A child receives an oral cholera vaccine dose in the South Sudan capital, Juba (Medair Photo)

A World Health Organization (WHO) statement issued on Wednesday also confirmed the early suspected cases of Cholera in different parts of the young nation, saying 10 samples from patients tested positive for Vibrio Cholera Ivana in a public health laboratory.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Its symptoms may be mild or moderate, with acute watery diarrhoea and severe dehydration notable. It can lead to death if untreated.

46 cholera patients were reportedly been hospitalized in Duk county of Jonglei state, while seven died. Also five people, out of the 12 registered cases, died in Terekeka county of Central Equatoria state.

On Wednesday, the medical charity, MSF, and the health ministry launched a vaccination campaign that, it said, targets 4,000 people in Juba, particularly in the epidemic suburbs of Gorom, Khor William and Giada as well as in other parts of the country’s capital.

Only a quarter of people living South Sudan’s towns have access to clean drinking water, worsening any spread of water borne diseases.

Researchers have estimated that every year, there are roughly 1.4 to 4.3 million cases, and 28 000 to 142 000 deaths per year worldwide due to cholera. The short incubation period of two hours to five days, is factor that triggers the potentially explosive pattern of outbreaks.

(ST)

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