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60 dead in Somalia’s recent cholera outbreak

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At least 60 people died from cholera in Somalia in the past three months, indicating the severity of the outbreak, the UN Children’s Fund, or UNICEF said Sunday.

“There has been a significant rise in cholera cases in the last three months, with a total of 4,956 new cases with 60 deaths (1.2 percent case fatality rate) being reported,” the UN agency said in its latest update issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

Of the reported cases, 2,503, or 51 percent, were female, underscoring the vulnerability of women to cholera infection, it said.

The country has been experiencing a protracted cholera outbreak, with uninterrupted transmission of the disease since 2017, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the WHO, the number of reported cases this year is three times higher than the average reported in the same period during the last three years.

UNICEF said among these cases, 3,054, or 62 percent, were classified as severe, indicating the gravity of the illness. It also said some 2,940 cases, or 59 percent, were children under five years of age, underscoring the heightened risk faced by this age group.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection that spreads through food and water contaminated with bacteria, often from feces.

The upsurge in cholera infection is attributed largely to El Nino-induced floods toward the end of 2023, which left at least 118 people dead and 1.2 million others displaced.


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