First Cholera Death From Cyclone Idai Reported As Over 500 New Diagnoses Of The Disease Confirmed In Mozambique
Over 900,000 vaccines were rushed to the region.
April 02, 2019 at 12:07 am
Update: (April 1, 2019): Mere days after 139 cases of cholera were reported in Beira, Mozambique, as a result of the deadly Cyclone Idai, the disease has now claimed the life of one person, according to The Associated Press. Reported diagnoses also nearly quadrupled in size, with 517 confirmed cases of the ailment.
“We’ve now registered one death from cholera. The person came here in a very critical condition. The deceased is the first to die from cholera inside our health facilities,” Reuters reports Ussene Isse, Mozambique’s national director for medical assistance, announced on television channel TVN.
To help prevent future deaths from occurring, the World Health Organization announced Sunday it is training 30 health professionals to begin looking after patients in treatment facilities immediately.
There are currently nine treatment centers across Mozambique dedicated to nursing victims back to health.
The Center for Disease Control defines cholera as a severe diarrheal infection that occurs in one’s intestines. Approximately 2.5 million individuals worldwide suffer from the malady, which on average kills 95,000 people annually.
Original: While the death toll rises as a result of southern African storm Cyclone Idai, Mozambique faces a deadly cholera outbreak. According to The Washington Post, a shortage of clean water has led to a reported 139 cases of the disease just one day after the first case was reported.
Mozambique's major city Beira has become the center of international relief efforts, with over 500,000 residents lacking access to clean water sources. The World Health Organization believes cholera could become a "second disaster" for the country.
South Africa stands with #Mozambique, #Malawi and #Zimbabwe as they confront the devastating effects of #CycloneIdai which has demolished homes, caused deaths of hundreds, and displaced thousands of people. We are supporting the rescue and relief efforts through the #SANDF. pic.twitter.com/4OZmFJnSRc— President Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) March 21, 2019
Doctors Without Borders members noted many citizens are drinking from contaminated wells, increasing risks of diarrhea. Hundreds of cases of diarrhea were reported in the past week.
Cholera, which is spread by contaminated food and water, can kill victims within hours. On Tuesday, over 900,000 vaccines were rushed to the region.
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The impact of the crisis increased with the first report of cholera found in Munhava, one of the most impoverished areas in Beira. Ussene Isse, the national director of medical assistance, told reporters the disease was bound to spread.
“We did the lab tests and can confirm that these five people tested positive for cholera,” Isse said. “It will spread. When you have one case, you have to expect more cases in the community.”
As Blavity previously reported, the Category 2 disaster has claimed the lives of 750 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Per the World Food Programme, 110,000 displaced citizens are now living in shelter camps. Relief efforts could cost upward of $150 million for the next three months alone. David Beasley, the executive director of the World Food Programme, is urging for more funding to support relief efforts.
“To save the lives of those who escaped the cyclone we need funds — and we need them now,” Beasley stated during his visit to Beira on Tuesday.
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