A cholera epidemic in the Central African Republic has claimed 16 victims, a health ministry spokesman said Saturday, as another source said it had reached the capital.
"The latest reports give 57 cases and 16 deaths," Modeste Hoza said, calling on residents to take precautions against transmission of the disease and not be afraid.
A hospital official in Bangui said four cases had been declared in the capital and the Red Cross had intervened.
Health Minister Jean-Michel Mandaba said on September 30 that the death toll had reached at least 10 in the southern regions of Ombella-Mpoko and Lobaye.
His comments came the day after a health services source said cholera had killed six people in the Limbo region, 20 kilometres (15 miles) from Bangui in Ombella-Mpoko.
Two months ago, health authorities warned of the danger of an outbreak due to the presence of cholera in nearby countries.