Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cholera outbreak in northern Iraq attributed to poor water quality

Over 2000 Iraqis in the northern part of the country have contracted cholera, with five deaths reported and 500 patients admitted to the hospital in the last two days, U.N. officials said on Wednesday, according to CNN.

Forty-seven cases have been confirmed as epidemic cholera, but the number is expected to grow, said UNICEF, which is providing emergency aid to the affected area.

Cholera is a bacterial ailment that affects the intestinal tract and is contracted by consuming contaminated water. The outbreak of the potentially deadly disease is thought to be the result of poor water quality and sewage treatment in the Sulaimaniya province and the nearby Kirkuk region.

Only 30 percent of the population in Sulaimaniya has an adequate water supply, according to local reports, and “many people have been reduced to digging shallow wells outside their homes,” UNICEF said.

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