Cholera outbreak in Iraq spreads to neighboring countries: UNICEF

Published November 8th, 2015 - 09:39 GMT

A severe cholera outbreak in war-torn Iraq has now spread to neighboring Syria, Kuwait, and Bahrain, Reuters reports.

The news comes from UNICEF Iraq director, Peter Hawkins, who told media that "Kuwait, Bahrain and Syria have already had confirmed cases [of cholera]." 

With the Shia holiday of Arbaeen set to take place in early December, Hawkins warned that the pilgrimage to Iraq may increase the risk of the disease spreading regionally.

Hawkins told media "it (the outbreak) already has a regional dynamic and the risk of that can only be increased by people from all over the region coming into Iraq."

Medical authorities reported that at least 2,300 people in Iraq have contracted the waterborne disease that can lead to a rapid death by dehdryation and kidney failure.

Heavy rains throughout October have lead to massive flooding, which is likely to only exacerbate the epidemic.

The outbreak spurred a massive vaccination campaign in the hopes of administering more than 500,000 doses of oral vaccine to 250,000 people. 

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