Mozambique says cholera cases up to 271 in cyclone-hit city

2019-03-30 13:29
A mother walks with her child between treatment tents which accomodate patient with diarrhea at Macurungo urban healt center in Beira on March 27, 2019 as five cases of cholera have been confirmed in Mozambique following the cyclone that ravaged the country killing at least 468 people. (AFP)

A mother walks with her child between treatment tents which accomodate patient with diarrhea at Macurungo urban healt center in Beira on March 27, 2019 as five cases of cholera have been confirmed in Mozambique following the cyclone that ravaged the country killing at least 468 people. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cholera cases among cyclone survivors in Mozambique have jumped to 271, authorities said, a figure that nearly doubled from the previous day.

The Portuguese news agency Lusa cited national health director Ussein Isse, who declared the outbreak of the acute diarrheal disease on Wednesday with just five cases.

So far no cholera deaths have been confirmed, the report said. Another Lusa report said the death toll in central Mozambique from the cyclone that hit on March 14 had inched up to 501. Authorities have warned the toll is highly preliminary as flood waters recede and reveal more bodies.

The cholera cases have been discovered in the port city of Beira, whose half-million residents and especially those in crowded, poor neighborhoods are at particular risk.

Doctors Without Borders has said it is seeing some 200 likely cholera cases per day in the city, where relief workers are hurrying to restore the damaged water system and bring in additional medical assistance.

The World Health Organization has said some 900,000 cholera vaccine doses are expected to arrive on Monday, with a vaccination campaign starting later in the week.

Cholera is spread by contaminated food and water and can kill within hours if not treated. The disease is a major concern for the hundreds of thousands of cyclone survivors in the southern African nation now living in squalid conditions in camps, schools or damaged homes. Some drink from contaminated wells or filthy, stagnant water.

As health responders stress the need for better disease surveillance, the United Nations' deputy humanitarian coordinator in Mozambique, Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, has said all cases of diarrhea are being treated as though they are cholera.

Cholera is endemic to the region, and "it breaks out fast and it travels extremely fast," he told reporters on Friday.

Doctors Without Borders has said other suspected cholera cases have been reported outside Beira in the badly hit areas of Buzi, Tica and Nhamathanda but the chance of spread in rural areas is smaller because people are more dispersed.

Mozambican officials have said Cyclone Idai destroyed more than 50 health centers in the region, complicating response efforts.

The cyclone also killed at least 259 people in Zimbabwe and 56 in Malawi.

The United Nations has said some 1.8 million people need urgent help across the sodden, largely rural region.

Read more on:    mozambique  |  beira  |  cyclone idai  |  cholera
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.