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Australia monitors Papua New Guinea's cholera outbreak

11-11-2010 13:44 BJT

CANBERRA, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Queensland health officials said Wednesday they were monitoring a cholera outbreak happened near the Torres Strait islands.

The Torres Strait is a body of water which lies between Australia and the Melanesian island of Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Papua New Guinea's cholera outbreak has resulted in 64 locals being treated in hospital. Thirteen children have died on a remote island near Australia's Torres Strait.

Infection rates have slowed after the outbreak began on PNG's north coast in August last year and spread throughout the mainland.

Now the disease appears to have surfaced on remote Daru Island, 50 kilometres from Saibai Island on the Australian side of the Torres Strait.

Australia's aid agency AusAID has been monitoring the situation and working to confirm the details.

Australia Associated Press reported AusAID will discuss the issue with the World Health Organization and the PNG government, and may consider a joint mission to the island.

Cholera is an infection of the small intestine caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Transmission is primarily through consuming contaminated drinking water or food. It is treatable with rehydration and antibiotics.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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