Sierra Leone cholera epidemic claims 255 lives, says UN

The cholera epidemic in Sierra Leone, the worst oubreak of the waterborne disease there in 15 years, has now claimed 255 lives, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

The epidemic was declared a national emergency in mid-August, with the densely populated capital Freetown the worst affected area in the west African country.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said that as of September 5, a total of 16,360 cases have been reported, including 255 deaths.

"The western area of the country, where the capital city of Freetown is located, reported more than 60 percent of all new cases," he added.

Despite expectations that the number of cases will rise to around 32,000 during September as the rainy season peaks, the WHO has not recommended any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Sierra Leone.

The UN agency has set up a major cholera command centre in Freetown and is also working with other non-government organisations including UNICEF, Oxfam and Save the Children to scale up their aid efforst.

With emphasis placed on early detection of the disease, public meetings are being held in Freetown to raise awareness of the importance of avoiding drinking water from unprotected sources, and text messages are also being sent by telephone companies to inform the public.

The disease, which is linked to and living conditions, causes vomiting, diarrhoea and .

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sierra Leone cholera death toll rises to 244

Sep 03, 2012

A cholera epidemic in Sierra Leone which was declared a national emergency in mid-August has claimed 244 lives and affected 14,521 people, said a statement from a special cholera task force Monday.

Cholera emergency declared in Sierra Leone

Aug 20, 2012

(AP) — An outbreak of cholera in West Africa has infected more than 13,000 people and killed at least 258 people in Sierra Leone and Guinea, authorities said as they appealed for international assistance.

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

Sep 20, 2014

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Sierra Leone streets deserted as shutdown begins

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone's normally chaotic capital resembled a ghost town on Friday as residents were confined to their homes for the start of a three-day lockdown aimed at halting the deadly Ebola epidemic.

Sierra Leone launches controversial Ebola shutdown

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone on Friday launched a controversial three-day shutdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus, as the UN Security Council declared the deadly outbreak a threat to world peace.

User comments