Surprising that we haven’t seen cholera before this.
More than 2,000 Iraqis in the northern part of the country have contracted cholera, U.N. officials said Wednesday, citing local authorities.
The outbreak is thought to be the result of poor water quality, the U.N. officials said.
“Local authorities report that over 2,000 people have been affected so far by the outbreak, with five deaths reported and 500 patients admitted to hospital with severe diarrhea within the last two days alone,” said the U.N. Children’s Fund, or UNICEF.
Forty-seven cases have been confirmed as epidemic cholera, but the number is expected to grow, said UNICEF, which has rushed emergency aid to the affected area.
The outbreak has hit the Sulaimaniya province and the nearby Kirkuk region in northern Iraq.
“Although the outbreak is largely affecting adults, children are at extremely high risk,” UNICEF said.
Cholera is a bacterial ailment that affects the intestinal tract. The disease is contracted by consuming contaminated water.
Only 30 percent of the population in Sulaimaniya has an adequate water supply, according to local reports, and “many people have been reduced to digging shallow wells outside their own homes,” UNICEF said.