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

Status: 07.10.2022 17:32

In Syria, the cholera epidemic risks becoming an epidemic: the WHO has already counted more than 10 thousand cases and Welthungerhilfe is worried about the refugee camps. The first people also fell ill in neighboring countries.

Ahead of the cholera epidemic in Syria, humanitarian organizations warn of the possible consequences for the country of the civil war and neighboring countries. A large proportion of the sick in Syria do not have access to medical care, Welthungerhilfe said. If the disease spreads to refugee camps there, 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

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

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

Even cases in neighboring countries

Also in Lebanon, for the first time in almost 30 years, there is a case of cholera, probably due to the epidemic in the neighboring country, according to the humanitarian organization Care. Cases have also been reported in Iraq. People in the three countries lack food, clean water and protection from the cold. They are therefore particularly at 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 is spreading where there is poverty and conflict and where people are struggling 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 feces or vomit from sick people. Without medical treatment, people can die within hours. With hydration, the chances of survival are high.

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