Iraqi authorities on alert to face cholera outbreak after 4 deaths

September 22, 2015 8:06 am 

BAGHDAD, Sept. 21 — Iraqi authorities have been on alert on Monday and took strict measures in an attempt to contain the outbreak of cholera in the country after the death of four people in the past few days near Iraqi capital of Baghdad, officials said.

"The Iraqi ministry of health started a plan aimed at controlling the spread of disease by closely monitoring the situation and implementing cholera contingency measures, distributing medicines and supplies to hospitals and medical centers in areas where the disease spreads," a spokesman of the ministry told Xinhua.

"So far, we have 58 confirmed cholera cases out of 164 diagnosed in Abu Ghraib, including four women who died a few days ago," Othman Adil, mayor of Abu Ghraib area, some 20 km west of Baghdad, told Xinhua.

Adil attributed the spread of cholera epidemic to the poor quality of drinking water, in addition to the lack of hygiene and health awareness in general.

Hassan Hadi, the head of health department in health ministry, said "most of the cholera cases were detected in Abu Ghraib area, and there are two cases in Zaafaraniyah district in southeastern Baghdad and one case in Karrada in the capital, in addition to 10 cases in the holy city of Najaf, and three others in Babil province in south of Baghdad."

Earlier, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued a package of measures to confront the situation, including daily water tests to rivers and water purification facilities in affected areas, in addition to distributing bottled water to people in Abu Ghraib area, where thousands of displaced families from Anbar province live after the Islamic State (IS) militant group captured large parts of heartland of Sunni Arabs in the western part of the country.

Cholera, one of the most deadly diseases, is a highly contagious water-borne disease which causes a copious, painless, watery diarrhea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and even death if not treated promptly. (PNA/Xinhua)

LAP/EDS

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