WHO warns of potential cholera outbreak in Syria

Published February 25th, 2015 - 06:00 GMT

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns of the potential for a cholera outbreak in Syria in the upcoming months, reports Reuters.

Cases of water borne diseases, like cholera, hepatitis A, and typhoid are increasing in frequency throughout Syria due to poor sanitation.

Dr. Elizabeth Hoff, a WHO representative in Syria, stated that there have been 31,460 cases of hepatitis A reported in the past year. Even more startling is the 1,000 cases reported each week since January. 

"This normally we see when the weather is warmer and so on. But it just tells you people no longer have the same access to safe drinking water as before," Hoff told news reporters.

"Going into the warmer season, what we are particularly concerned about ... is cholera, this is our main fear, but so far we haven't seen it.

"But quite clearly the situation is going much more critical," she added. "Water has been used for political dividends and has been turned off to certain areas and that leads people to drink water from unsafe areas."

The United Nations estimates approximately 220,000 people have died since the Syrian civil war began almost four years ago. 

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