News of a cholera outbreak is claiming lives in northwestern Syria. Last Minute WORLD headlines and events
Following devastating earthquakes in southeastern Turkey that also affected Syria, two people died due to a cholera epidemic in northwestern Syria held by the opposition.
More than 4,000 people have been killed in the earthquakes in an opposition-controlled area of Syria near the Turkish border, according to the Reuters news agency. There are fears that further damage to the region’s already poor health care and infrastructure could lead to more epidemics.
The civil defense group known as the White Helmets, formed by the opposition, said the death toll from the epidemic that began last year had risen to 22, with 568 non-life-threatening cases reported.
“The destruction of infrastructure, water supply and sewerage after the earthquake increases the likelihood of an epidemic,” the White Helmets group said on Twitter.
A United Nations (UN) Security Council report last week said the country’s current cholera epidemic has been exacerbated by frequent shortages of clean water.
The report warned that the winter season in Syria was drier and hotter than usual.
The epidemic, which first arose in connection with the pollution of the waters near the Euphrates in September last year, has spread to various parts of the country, torn apart by more than a decade of war.
Sarah Charles, deputy director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), who visited earthquake-hit areas in Turkey with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, said yesterday they were concerned about the growing risk of waterborne diseases. in northwestern Syria.
Pointing out that the United Nations had reported more than 49,000 suspected cases of cholera in the region as of February 21, a USAID official stated that the cholera epidemic in northwestern Syria began a month before the earthquake and that public health region increased due to the damage caused by the earthquake.
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