Thursday, August 30, 2007

Minister: Water treatment plant source of cholera outbreak

Left: A soldier inspects water flow at a new water treatment plant in Al Muhawil last year.

Health officials have traced the source of an outbreak of cholera in Iraq's northern Sulaimaniya province to a water treatment plant, a regional health minister said on Thursday.

Zairyan Othman, health minister for Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, has warned of a catastrophe unless the outbreak is quickly contained. There are nearly 4,000 suspected cases in Sulaimaniya and the neighbouring province of Kirkuk.

Othman told Reuters on Thursday samples taken from the water treatment plant showed the presence of the bacterium that causes cholera, an acute intestinal infection that is spread through contaminated food and water.

"This is the main reason for cholera spreading so quickly in Sulaimaniya," Othman said.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet

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Report: Major cholera outbreak in Sulaimaniya and Kirkuk

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Perspective: Thirsty in the land of two rivers

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Doctors warn children, elderly at increased risk for dhydration, cholera and infections this summer