WHO initiates cholera vaccine campaign in Iraq

WHO initiates campaign to vaccinate 250,000 people against cholera in Iraq. | Courtesy of the WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) has initiated a campaign to vaccinate 250,000 individuals in Iraq against cholera to curb the ongoing outbreak in the country, the organization announced Sunday.

During the first week of November, the organization and 14 governorates in the country will administer the first sets of the vaccine. The organization has mobilized a total of 510,000 of the oral cholera vaccine (OCV) from its global stockpile. Following the initial dose, a second will be given after 14 days.

In Iraq, a reported 2,173 laboratory cases of the disease have been confirmed. Many localities in the central and southern regions of the country continue to report cases. The WHO reports that overall, case counts have been declining nationwide.

The WHO states that social mobilization and health education will be crucial in implementing the vaccination program and mitigating the spread of cholera.

Cholera typically presents itself with vomiting, rapid heart rate, muscle cramps and severe diarrhea. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that, if left untreated, the disease can lead to severe dehydration, shock and death.

The WHO said that the OCV has 85-percent short-term effectiveness and a success rate of 65 percent over a five-year period.


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