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Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 18:48 UK

Iraq cholera outbreak kills six

By Mike Sergeant
BBC News, Baghdad

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A state of emergency has been declared in Iraq's Babil province after at least six people died from cholera.

Cases have also been confirmed in two other parts of the country.

Officials at the ministry of health in Baghdad say this is not yet an epidemic. But hundreds of suspected cases have now been reported.

Babil appears to be the worst-affected area but cholera has also been confirmed in Maysan province and at Abu Ghraib to the west of Baghdad.

In its most severe form the disease brings sudden diarrhoea which can lead to dehydration and death within hours.

Cholera is mainly transmitted through contaminated water and untreated sewage. It can spread quickly in hot weather.

Last year there were more than 4,000 confirmed cholera cases in Iraq - the vast majority in the Kurdish-controlled northern region.


SEE ALSO
First cholera death hits Baghdad
26 Sep 07 |  Middle East
Deadly cholera outbreak in Iraq
30 Aug 07 |  Middle East
Cholera fears grow in Iraq
09 May 03 |  Middle East
Medical notes: Cholera
08 May 03 |  Medical notes

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