Health organizations warn of cholera epidemic in Syria

SYRIA — Health organizations in Syria have issued warnings of the danger of a cholera epidemic spreading in many regions of the country, especially those that lack the minimum elements of hygiene and health infrastructure.

The warnings were issued several days after information circulated about the death of two people due to acute diarrhea in North and East of Syria. After conducting laboratory tests, cholera was proven as a causative factor for the first cases, reported local media. The cause of  other cases is still yet to be determined.

Program Director at Al-Ameen Dr. Rami Kelzy said that the northwestern regions of Syria are considered a suitable environment for the outbreak of cholera due to poverty, overcrowding, and lack of hygiene.

Dr. Kelzy explained that the germs that cause cholera are widely spread in the bodies of those who have contracted the disease. It can then contaminate food and water. The disease is transmitted orally and must be controlled in the early stages of an outbreak, otherwise the disease can spread and be difficult to control, especially in areas where it suffers from a weak medical sector.

Cholera is a fatal disease in more than half of cases due to severe diarrhea and dehydration, warned Dr. Kelzy, pointing out that cholera prevention is through adherence to hygiene, staying away from corpses and garbage collections, frequently and thoroughly washing hands and food, and ensuring clean water.