AFRICA - Children, especially malnourished, victims most at risk of one of the worst epidemics of cholera

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - This year in West and Central Africa more than 85 000 cases of cholera that have killed 2,466 people have been registered. For dimensions and the danger of outbreaks, the region is facing one of the largest epidemics of its history. The mortality rate, between 2.3% and 4.7%, is high and can reach very high peaks in some districts (in Cameroon it varies from 1% to 22%). Children are the most vulnerable to the disease because they dehydrate more quickly and the malnourished are particularly at risk. With regard to epidemics of cholera, the most significant increases were registered in 2011 in Chad, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are three border areas in West and Central Africa where the epidemic broke out: the basin of Lake Chad (between Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger), the western basin of the river Congo (between DR of Congo, Congo and Central Afican Republic) and Lake Tanganyika (between DR Congo and Burundi). Small outbreaks of cholera in Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Togo are under control. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2011)

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