Monday, December 08, 2008

Zim Cholera spreads to nearby countries

from Bloomberg news

By Carli Lourens

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A cholera epidemic that started in Zimbabwe has spread to neighboring Botswana and Zambia as well as South Africa, the Southern African Development Community said....

The Zimbabwe cholera outbreak accompanied the collapse of the country’s health and sanitation systems following a decade of recession and political upheaval under President Robert Mugabe. The country’s health ministry reported 484 deaths and 11,735 cholera cases since August, according the Web site of the WHO.

Cholera, mainly spread through contaminated water and food and poor sanitation, causes severe diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to death.

The epidemic has escalated to an “international emergency,” U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, according to Times Online. Brown called on the international community to stand together and tell Mugabe “enough is enough,” it added.

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