WHO releases details on Iraq's cholera outbreak
According to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, a total of 1,263 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported across 15 areas of the country.
Water and hygiene kits have been distributed in heavily affected areas alongside decontamination materials including chlorine tablets and bleaching powder. The Ministry of Health has also established the Cholera Command and Control Center so that coordinated response efforts can be enhanced across multiple sectors.
The WHO has also deployed international experts to support Iraqi officials’ response to the outbreak.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that symptoms of cholera include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate and muscle cramps, among others. The disease is primarily spread through the ingestion of food or water that has been contaminated. Severe forms of the disease can lead to renal failure and imbalances in electrolytes and potentially a coma. Another complication is severe dehydration which can lead to death.
The spread of the disease can be halted with proper hand washing and disposal of contaminants and human waste.