Poor sanitation and overcrowded health facilities are being blamed for a cholera outbreak in Ghana’s capital city of Accra, according to an AFP report via ReliefWeb. The outbreak of cholera, which has been described as “staggering”,  has killed more than 40 people in Accra since June and infected 3,100 others, according to the Ghana Health Service.

Vibrio cholerae
Image/CDC

“It is a total outbreak and the cases in Accra keep increasing daily,” the director of health services for the greater Accra region, Linda Van Otoo said. “We are in a pandemic situation and doing our best to deal with it.”

The outbreak is affecting the city’s poorest districts, according to Otoo. The report notes: While President John Dramani Mahama’s administration has built new roads and facilities around the capital, residents in neighborhoods hardest-hit by cholera often defecate on nearby beaches and buy from merchants selling food next to overflowing gutters.

Cholera is a bacterial disease that can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Cholera is most often spread through the ingestion of contaminated foodor drinking water. Water may be contaminated by the feces of an infected person or by untreated sewage. Food is often contaminated by water containing cholera bacteria or by being handled by a person ill with cholera. For more infectious disease news andinformationvisit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page