Zimbabwe Cholera Cases to Cross 100,000: Red Cross

by VR Sreeraman on  May 27, 2009 at 11:14 AM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
The number of cholera cases in Zimbabwe is expected to cross the 100,000 mark in the coming days, the Red Cross said Tuesday, warning that the epidemic was Africa's worst in 15 years.
 Zimbabwe Cholera Cases to Cross 100,000: Red Cross
Zimbabwe Cholera Cases to Cross 100,000: Red Cross

"The illness has now taken a foothold in villages and communities across the countryside...," the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

"The epidemic has entrenched itself as Africa's worst outbreak in more than 15 years," they said in a report.

The World Health Organisation said in March that the pace of the outbreak had slowed significantly, and that the situation was "improving."

However, the Red Cross said the slowing rate of infection could be due to the shift of the outbreak from urban to less populated rural areas.

With access to drinking water, basic sanitation and health facilities still severely restricted, the epidemic is far from over, said the IFRC.

"The eradication of cholera in Zimbabwe or the complete conclusion to this current epidemic is unlikely unless the underlying causes of the health crises are addressed," said the report.

Some 98,309 cases of infection have been recorded since the outbreak began in August 2008, including 4,283 deaths, said the federation.

Source: AFP

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