Cholera in Zimbabwe Shows Signs of Slowing

by VR Sreeraman on  March 7, 2009 at 2:35 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
The World Health Organisation said on Friday that the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe was showing signs of slowing as the death toll crept closer to the 4,000 mark.
 Cholera in Zimbabwe Shows Signs of Slowing
Cholera in Zimbabwe Shows Signs of Slowing

Some 87,998 cases had been recorded by March 5, including 3,975 deaths since August 2008, World Health Organisation spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said.

The figures are regularly compiled with Zimbabwe's health ministry.

Chaib said the number of cases had been averaging 4,000 to 4,500 a week recently, compared to peaks of nearly 8,000 earlier in the outbreak.

"We have recorded a certain decline in cases and deaths from week to week," Chaib told journalists.

"That doesn't mean we should lower our guard, we have to remain vigilant because we are still in a major health crisis in Zimbabwe," she added.

In the week to February 21, 4,095 cases were recorded, compared to 5,471 the preceding week.

Although more cholera centres are opening around the country, some rural areas are still not covered.

The WHO is still analysing the situation and will report on the signs of a slowdown within weeks, Chaib said.

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Thursday that the figures were likely an underestimate.

Tsvangirai told an emergency meeting of health workers that the epidemic that has swept the country since August was a sign of the collapse of the health system.

Source: AFP

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