Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cholera Outbreak Death Toll in Sierra Leone Rises to 224

Cholera outbreak death toll in Sierra Leone rises to 224

Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:9PM GMT

World Health Organization says at least 224 people have died and more than 12,000 have been infected by the water-borne disease in the capital Freetown in Sierra Leone.

WHO has confirmed these figures for the time span of Januray 2012 until 24 August 2012.

The majority of deaths have occurred in Freetown due to a combination of heavy rain, overcrowding, poor sanitation and dirty water. These all have caused the rapid spread of the infection.

The sprawling slums in Freetown make it especially vulnerable to Cholera.

Similar conditions exist in Guinea’s capital Conakry, where the number of cholera cases is already more than double the number recorded in 2007, when the last outbreak occurred, according to Doctors without Borders.

The disaster has hit other parts of the country too prompting Sierra Leone’s government to declare a national emergency.

The World Health Organization estimates the number of cases could reach 32,000, with the outbreak peaking towards the end of September.

Doctors Without Borders medics-- treating cholera patients in the capital Freetown-- say that volunteers and authorities are doing their best to cope with the rising number of cases.

Cholera is an infectious disease of the small intestine, contracted by eating or drinking contaminated food or liquid. It can cause acute diarrhea and vomiting and can kill within hours if left untreated.

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