Cholera outbreak in Syria: Welthungerhilfe warns of “devastating consequences”

Status: 07.10.2022 17:32

In Syria, the cholera outbreak threatens to become an epidemic: the WHO has already counted more than 10,000 cases and Welthungerhilfe is concerned about the refugee camps. The first people in neighboring countries have also become ill.

In light of the cholera outbreak in Syria, aid organizations are warning about the possible consequences for the civil war country and neighboring countries. Many of the sick in Syria have no access to medical care, Welthungerhilfe said. Should the disease spread there in refugee camps, the number of those affected could increase dramatically. According to the organization, the consequences for the country would be “devastating”.

Already more than 10,000 cases

More than 10,000 cases have been reported in Syria in recent weeks, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The Syrian Ministry of Health reported dozens of deaths from the disease. According to Welthungerhilfe, hygienic conditions, especially in the refugee camps, are still poor.

Access to water is limited, as is knowledge about how the disease is transmitted. The diarrheal disease is currently spreading, especially in the north of the country.

Also cases in neighboring countries

Also in Lebanon, according to aid organization Care, a case of cholera has been registered for the first time in almost 30 years, probably as a result of the outbreak in the neighboring country. Cases have also been reported in Iraq. People in the three countries have no food, clean water and protection from the cold. They are therefore at extra risk.

According to the WHO, the number of cholera outbreaks has increased worldwide this year. In the first nine months, 27 countries reported outbreaks. Cholera spreads where there is poverty and conflict and where people struggle with the consequences of climate change.

Infection usually through drinking water

Cholera is a bacterial diarrheal disease that causes severe dehydration. Infection usually occurs through drinking water contaminated with faeces or vomit from sick people. Without medical care, people can die within hours. With hydration, the chance of survival is high.

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