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Africa faces worst ever cholera outbreaks: UNICEF

10-12-2011 09:11 BJT

GENEVA, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- More than 85,000 cases of Cholera have been reported in West and Central Africa so far this year, making it one of the biggest epidemics in its history, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said here on Tuesday.

UNICEF reported an "unacceptably high" Case Fatality Rate (CFR) in countries concerned, ranging from 2.3 percent to 4.7 percent, with a total number of 2,466 deaths reported in the region.

Three major cross border cholera epidemic outbreaks are observed in West and Central Africa region, including the Lake Chad Basin, the West Congo Basin and Lake Tanganyika, with the most significant increases reported in Chad, Cameroon and in western the Democratic Republic of Congo.

UNICEF is particularly concerned about the this year's outbreaks as it happened out of the regular epidemic season and was reported in places that had not seen cholera for years.

"Children are more vulnerable to cholera, as they dehydrate faster, and malnourished children are especially at risk," said UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado, calling for a redoubling of efforts to combat the cholera outbreaks.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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