Cholera outbreak in northeast Afghanistan

A cholera outbreak at a village in northeast Afghanistan has infected 1,492 people, killed a young woman and left another 100 in critical condition, a provincial official said Tuesday.

Abdul Marouf Rasekh, a spokesman for the governor of Badakhshan province, said the outbreak began three days ago and was restricted to one town that has been quarantined.

When it first appeared in the mountainous village of Chappa in the Darayen district, Rasekh said it infected 850 people but quickly spread until the quarantine was put in place.

"The village has been quarantined and they are all being treated," he said, adding that "treating such diseases is not easy."

Rasekh said the source of the infection had been traced to a single spring of water that supplies the entire town's drinking water. Health authorities were bringing in water from nearby towns until the problem was solved.

He said that 36 of the most serious cases have been taken to a hospital in the provincial capital of Faizabad and that the sole death so far was an 18-year old woman.

Afghanistan has had cholera outbreaks in the past but they are not common. Typhoid and other intestinal diseases and parasites are far more common but not as deadly if left untreated.

Access to clean drinking water is a problem in rural Afghanistan and health care is rudimentary in large parts of the country, which has one of the world's lowest at 50. Only 12 percent of Afghans living in rural areas have access to clean drinking water, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The World Health Organization says cholera is virulent but are low if treated quickly.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cholera kills four, infects 400 in Burundi

Aug 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.

Recommended for you

Poll: Many doubt hospitals can handle Ebola

2 hours ago

A new poll finds most Americans have some confidence that the U.S. health care system will prevent Ebola from spreading in this country, but they're not so sure their local hospital can safely handle a patient.

Number of Ebola cases nears 10,000

2 hours ago

The number of people with Ebola is set to hit 10,000 in West Africa, the World Health Organization said, as the scramble to find a cure gathered pace.

'Breath test' shows promise for diagnosing fungal pneumonia

3 hours ago

Many different microbes can cause pneumonia, and treatment may be delayed or off target if doctors cannot tell which bug is the culprit. A novel approach—analyzing a patient's breath for key chemical compounds made by the ...

Where Ebola battles are won

12 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Four hospitals that are home to advanced biocontainment facilities have become America's ground zero in the treatment of Ebola patients.

User comments