S.Leone cholera outbreak kills 62 in less than a month

July 18, 2012

Sierra Leone's health ministry on Wednesday said an outbreak of cholera in the west African country has killed 62 people in less than a month.

The western area, including the capital Freetown, and "three towns in the northern and southern parts of the country have now been declared areas", said a ministry statement.

"Emergency referral centres have been set up and hospitals and health clinics have been boosted with drugs to combat any escalation of the problem."

Between June 23 and Tuesday, 62 people have died and 3,721 cases have been reported in the areas concerned, statistics showed.

The highest number of cases was in the town of Port Loko, where 21 children under the age of five have died.

"The outbreak has been traced to unsanitary conditions, acute water shortages in many parts of the country and migration from affected regions," a said.

The Sierra Leone Red Cross has mobilised some 400 volunteers to control the spread of the disease and educate communities on how to prevent it.

A recent report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said the disease had also spread to neighbouring Guinea.

As the annual rainy season is getting underway, the water-borne disease has already left some 700 people dead in West and Central Africa with more than 29,000 cases reported, UNICEF said last week.

Mali and Niger have also been hard hit, with high levels of malnourishment as a result of a exacerbating the problem.

Poor water and sanitation systems give rise to the disease, an acute intestinal infection caused by ingesting and water which causes and vomiting and can kill in hours, according to the .

Explore further: Embattled Sahel facing deadly cholera outbreak

Related Stories

Embattled Sahel facing deadly cholera outbreak

July 10, 2012

The conflict in Mali could turn a cholera outbreak that has already killed 60 people in the Sahel this year into a serious regional epidemic, the UN children's agency said Tuesday.

Diarrhoea outbreak kills seven children in Zimbabwe

October 16, 2011

At least seven children have died from a suspected diarrhoea outbreak which has affected over 6,000 children in two towns in Zimbabwe over the past week, a state newspaper said Sunday.

Spike in cholera cases in DR Congo: UN

January 27, 2012

Cholera cases have soared in the Democratic Republic of Congo in recent weeks, the UN said on Friday, bringing the number of people infected in the year-long outbreak to 22,000 with 584 deaths.

Cholera kills four, infects 400 in Burundi

August 22, 2011

Cholera has killed at least four people in an outbreak in the past three weeks in western Burundi, where more than 400 people are infected, a health ministry official said Monday.

Thousands hit by Djibouti diarrhoea outbreak: WHO

November 22, 2011

Authorities in Djibouti have reported a serious outbreak of a potentially fatal diarrhoea infection in the capital, with two deaths since October and 127 new cases this month, the WHO said on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.