Cholera outbreak in northeast Afghanistan

August 13, 2013

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.

Related Stories

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.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

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.