Mozambique cholera epidemic spreads

2015-02-16 19:13

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Maputo - The death toll from a cholera epidemic in Mozambique that broke out after widespread flooding has climbed to 28, the government said on Monday.

There are fears the outbreak is accelerating with the number of infections hitting 2 400 compared with 1 702 cases and 19 deaths reported last week.

"We are particularly concerned by the [situation in the] city of Tete where we are seeing an upsurge in new cases with an average of 70 admissions per day," Benigna Matsinhe, a deputy director in the health ministry, told reporters.

Tete lies in northern Mozambique near the borders with Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Mozambique regularly suffers outbreaks of cholera and diarrhoea during its summer rainy season which runs between October and March.

But heavy rains and floods that lashed the country between December and January, killing 158 people and affecting 170 000, have hastened the spread of cholera.

Around 650 schools were destroyed by the high waters, and authorities estimate $1.5m will be needed to rebuild classrooms in the hardest-hit Zambezia province alone.

Mozambique's deadliest floods were in 2000, when an estimated 800 people were killed.

Read more on:    mozambique  |  southern africa  |  health  |  flooding

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