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[casi] WHO: Cholera in Iraq - Update 3

Cholera in Iraq - Update 3

19 June 2003

Disease Outbreak Reported

>From 28 April to 4 June 2003, a total of 73 laboratory-confirmed cholera
cases have been reported in Iraq : 68 in Basra governorate, 4 in Missan
governorate, 1 in Muthana governorate. No deaths have been reported.

>From 17 May to 4 June 2003, the daily surveillance system of diarrhoeal
disease cases in the four main hospitals of Basra reported a total of 1549
cases of acute watery diarrhea. Among these cases, 25.6 % occurred in
patients aged 5 years and above.

The water supply situation is critical. Short-term measures have been
undertaken by UNICEF and local authorities to improve accessibility to safe
drinking water and to limit the spread of water-borne epidemics.

WHO is supporting local authorities in implementing an early warning
communicable disease surveillance system, in strengthening laboratory
capacity and in coordinating the cholera outbreak response.

The surveillance system is being expanded to the whole Lower South (all 4
governorates) and weekly reports from all facilities have begun.

UNICEF is also supporting the initiative by providing health education
material in Arabic and chlorine tablets to all health directorates.

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