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UNICEF and WHO: Alarm over cholera outbreaks

Cholera case management training. Photo: icddr,b/Flickr

As Cholera outbreak spreads across 29 countries, UNICEF calls for 27.5 million to combat disease.

A human tragedy

Victims of the cholera outbreak have now been reported in more than 29 countries including Kenya, Somalia, RDC, Haiti, Syria, and Lebanon.

On top of numerous issues plaguing Syrians, the outbreak of cholera and the start of winter all chip away at the already thinning resources in the region. It is reported that more than 14.6 million people there need assistance.

UNICEF has appealed for $27.5 million to help combat the spread of cholera in Haiti, where roughly 40% of confirmed cases are children.

Many steps have been taken to stop the spread of cholera, but more still needs to be done to treat those affected and prevent further infection in the parts of the world yet affected.

What is Cholera?

Cholera is an infectious disease that causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration. It is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera and is typically spread through contaminated water.

Cholera can be fatal if left untreated, but it is preventable through proper hygiene and sanitation measures.

To prevent cholera, experts advise the consumption of clean water, regular and thorough hand washing and avoidance of raw or undercooked food.

Vaccines are also available to protect against cholera.

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