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[Published: Friday August 24 2012]

Sierra Leone cholera outbreak  spreading, UN

New York, 24 Aug – (ANA) - The United Nations health agency has reported an escalation in Sierra Leone cholera outbreak and stressed the need for a rapid response to  the spread of the of the  fatal disease. Speaking  in Geneva, Glenn Thomas, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO), confirmed the spread of cholera to an additional two districts of the West African country, noting that since the beginning of 2012, there had been 11,189 reported cases and 203 deaths due to the outbreak.  Mr. Thomas told reporters that the WHO was supporting the Government of Sierra Leone in the areas of epidemiology and social mobilization and had sent three cholera experts form its regional office to respond to the deteriorating crisis.  Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the bacterium known as vibrio cholerae. The disease has a short incubation period and produces a toxin that causes continuous watery diarrhoea, a condition that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not administered promptly. Vomiting also occurs in most patients. (ANA)
FA/ANA/24 August 2012----

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