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Heavy Rains, Flooding Exacerbating Cholera Epidemic In West And Central African Countries

A cholera epidemic in West and Central Africa, which is being worsened by heavy rains and flooding, has already caused nearly 40,000 cases this year in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, killing almost 1,200 people in the countries adjacent to the Lake Chad Basin, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), VOA News reports.

A lack of access to potable drinking water and proper sanitation facilities, combined with a transient population and heavy rains, are helping the disease spread among countries in the Lake Chad Basin region, the news service notes. “[T]he WHO says a death rate of higher than one percent indicates problems in the health system,” VOA writes, adding, “Affected countries in the Lake Chad Basin, such as Cameroon and Chad, are reporting death rates of more than three percent” (Look, 9/12).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.