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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
First cholera death hits Baghdad
Dirty water is taken from the Diyala river in east Baghdad
Dirty water being drawn fro the Diyala river in east Baghdad
A woman has died of cholera in Baghdad, Iraq's health ministry says, the capital's first confirmed fatality in the country's recent outbreak.

The disease was first detected in northern Iraq last month.

Eleven others have died of cholera outside Baghdad, and at least 2,000 cases have been confirmed, the vast majority of them in the north.

The 40-year-old woman died on Monday after spending seven days in hospital. Her son is infected with cholera.

She lived in the Jisr Diyal area of south Baghdad.

12 fatalities - most in north
70% of Iraqis have inadequate water, only 20% have access to effective sanitation
Source: Oxfam/NGO Co-ordination Committee

The World Health Organisation has warned that problems in ensuring access to clean water and food in Iraq could cause the disease to spread further.

A report by the UK-based charity, Oxfam, and the NGO Co-ordination Committee in Iraq (NCCI) warned in July that 70% of Iraq's population did not have adequate water supplies and that only 20% had access to effective sanitation.

Cholera is a bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting.

Patients, particularly children and the elderly, are vulnerable to dangerous dehydration as a result.

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