Thursday, December 11, 2008

over 15000 have cholera in Zim

from CNN

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HARARE, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Nearly 775 people have died in Zimbabwe from the recent cholera outbreak, an official from the World Health Organization said Wednesday, refuting the government's claim that the situation is under control.

The number of overall cholera cases is also on the rise, hitting 15,141 on Wednesday, said Dr. Eric Laroche, who heads the WHO unit addressing health action during the crisis.

The WHO added that up to 60,000 people in Zimbabwe could be infected if the epidemic worsens.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the country's widening humanitarian crisis could only be addressed once a "legitimate government" was in place.

"It is up to that government to deal with the problems the country is facing, which are quite wide-ranging," Tsvangirai said.

"But the immediate intervention of the health crisis has exacerbated the situation to the extent that it has now become an international crisis."

Laroche told CNN from the Zimbabwean capital of Harare that "the epidemic is clearly on the increase."

"I think it's going to last for several months."

Laroche said the current outbreak had a high fatality rate, indicating that sufferers were either not able to reach health centers in time or that the centers lacked the capacity to treat them.....

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