Iraq cholera cases reach 171

Other News Materials 20 September 2008 20:11 (UTC +04:00)

The number of people infected with cholera climbed from 23 at the beginning of this month to 171, sources at the Iraqi health ministry said.

Iraqi laboratories have detected in the past two days 63 new cases in Babel, Karbala and parts of Baghdad bringing the total number of infected people to 171, Isan Jaafar, spokesman for the Iraqi health minister told al-Sabah newspaper on Saturday, reported dpa.

Jaafar also said that the epidemic is spreading in other Iraqi towns.

Up to the first week of September the number of confirmed cases in Iraq stood at 27. It climbed to 73 last week.

Jaafar said that among the factors allowing the spread of the epidemic are falling water levels in rivers and lakes, and an increase in pollution.

In many areas Iraqis are forced to use water directly from rivers or lakes due to a lack of treatment facilities.