Cyclone-hit Fiji Risks Typhoid, Cholera Outbreak

by VR Sreeraman on  March 23, 2010 at 11:57 AM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
A UN disaster official expressed fears Monday of a typhoid and cholera outbreak in Fiji following a cyclone last week that killed three people and destroyed more than 370 homes.
 Cyclone-hit Fiji Risks Typhoid, Cholera Outbreak
Cyclone-hit Fiji Risks Typhoid, Cholera Outbreak

Hamish Weatherly, the Pacific emergency coordinator for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), said there was a risk of the potentially deadly waterborne disease typhoid spreading rapidly after the major storm.

There had already been a typhoid outbreak before the category four Cyclone Tomas hit the north and east of Fiji on Monday and Tuesday last week with winds averaging 175 kilometres (110 miles) an hour.

"UNICEF Pacific office is responding to the emergency with specific attention to water, sanitation and hygiene, given that cases of typhoid and cholera are likely to rise in the coming days," Weatherly said.

Fiji's health authorities reported three cases of diarrhoea with blood, a possible sign of typhoid, on a northern island.

The Ministry of Health warned people to boil water or use purification tablets before drinking it.

National Disaster Management Office operations officer Anthony Blake said according to early assessments, 376 homes had been destroyed in the cyclone and another 423 were damaged.

Source: AFP

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