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

Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts

3 hours ago

Travel restrictions could worsen West Africa's Ebola epidemic, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors, virologists said Tuesday as the disease continued its deadly spread.

World 'losing battle' to contain Ebola: MSF (Update)

3 hours ago

International medical agency Medecins sans Frontieres said Tuesday the world was "losing the battle" to contain Ebola as the United Nations warned of severe food shortages in the hardest-hit countries.

Mutating Ebola viruses not as scary as evolving ones

4 hours ago

My social media accounts today are cluttered with stories about "mutating" Ebola viruses. The usually excellent ScienceAlert, for example, rather breathlessly informs us "The Ebola virus is mutating faster in humans than in animal hosts ...

War between bacteria and phages benefits humans

5 hours ago

In the battle between our immune systems and cholera bacteria, humans may have an unknown ally in bacteria-killing viruses known as phages. In a new study, researchers from Tufts University, Massachusetts ...

Ebola kills 31 people in DR Congo: WHO

7 hours ago

An outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 31 people and the epidemic remains contained in a remote northwestern region, UN the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

User comments