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Cholera Outbreaks Reported In The DRC, Central African Republic

“There has been an increase in the number of cholera cases and deaths in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo where an outbreak has been ongoing since March, say humanitarian agencies,” IRIN reports. “At least 6,910 cases and 384 deaths had been reported as of 3 October, according to a report by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), compared with a total of 3,896 cases and some 265 deaths by 20 July 2011,” the news service writes.

“People seeking treatment at various points along the river had exacerbated the spread of the disease as far as Kinshasa,” according to Laurence Sailly, the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) assistant medical coordinator, IRIN reports. “Campaigns to encourage prevention measures, such as hand-washing after using the toilet, sensitization on symptoms and increasing the number of latrines at the ports were ongoing,” the news service writes (10/7). In related news, “A cholera epidemic in the Central African Republic has claimed 16 victims, a health ministry spokesman said Saturday, as another source said it had reached the capital,” Agence France-Presse reports, adding, “Two months ago, health authorities warned of the danger of an outbreak due to the presence of cholera in nearby countries” (10/9).