In northwestern Syria, two people died of cholera after the earthquakes last month. In total, according to aid organization Witte Helmen, there are now more than 560 infections in the area.
The aid workers, like the United Nations, are concerned about a possible spike in the number of cholera infections. There was already a shortage of clean water in many places in the country, but the water and sewage infrastructure have been severely damaged by the earthquakes.
The first cases were reported in September last year. The number of cholera deaths in the area stands at 22 in total, the White Helmets report:
The White Helmets
Medical authorities report that the number of #cholera deaths in northwestern #Syria has risen to 22, with 568 cases of infection. The #earthquake has caused significant damage to infrastructure, water and sewage lines, increasing the risk of a disease outbreak.
February 28, 2023
“Thousands of people have been living in shelters arranged by NGOs since the beginning of the disaster and it is very crowded there,” a Syrian activist told Al Jazeera. “In the environment where they live now, there will be outbreaks of diseases, especially cholera.”
Cholera is mainly transmitted by drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food. But skin contact with a patient’s faeces or vomit can also lead to infection.
The patient may experience severe diarrhoea. Because this causes the body to lose a lot of fluid, this can lead to severe dehydration. Without treatment, this is life-threatening.
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