Diarrhoea epidemic haunts Ethiopia

October 24th, 2006 Print Print Email Email

andnetwork |October 23, 2006

At least 182 people are known to have died from a diarrhoea epidemic in Ethiopia. This was after floods contaminated wells and rivers. Some 20,000 people have been infected since the outbreak erupted in June. The United Nations is warning that the disease could even spread across the border to Kenya.

Ethiopia’s health authorities are calling it acute watery diarrhoea and are still trying to establish whether the epidemic is in fact cholera.

The outbreak has swept through Ethiopia over the last few months and has now spread to the capital, Addis Ababa, where two treatment centres have been set up.

Lack of access to clean drinking water is a major factor in the spread of diarrhoea as people turn to water sources that are often highly contaminated by sewage.

The Ethiopian Red Cross said the recent flooding across the country which had left hundreds dead was an aggravating factor in the spread of the epidemic.

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