Cholera epidemic kills 45 in Tanzania's Zanzibar archipelago

Cholera has killed 45 people in the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar over the past two months, regional health officials said Thursday.

More than 3,000 people have been infected since the epidemic started in September, said Eddy Jabir Dahoma, director of disease prevention and control at the Health Ministry of the semi-autonomous archipelago.

The disease is believed to have come in from the Tanzanian mainland, where it has killed more than 300 people since August, according to the government.

Dahoma said rains had contributed to the waterborne disease spreading across most of the archipelago.

The epidemic however is now losing ground in Zanzibar as well as the mainland.

"The number of patients has been decreasing, as many people have been taking precautions [after] our awareness campaigns," Dahoma said.

Zanzibar, which has 1.3 million residents, is a popular tourist destination.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated water or food. It causes diarrhoea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death.

Last update: Thu, 28/04/2016 - 14:08

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