In a follow-up to a report last week, The Iraq Ministry of Health and Environment announced Saturday that the cholera outbreak has now increased to 239 cases, according to an Al-Mada Press report (computer translated).

Iraq map/CIA
Iraq map/CIA

Health officials note that all the cases have recovered from their illnesses and no deaths are reported.

The Minister for Health and Environment, Adila Hammoud, demanded to “take preventive measures and launch wide campaigns to monitor the markets, water and ice factories and restaurants to prevent any abnormal procedures contributing to the spread of the disease.”

The civilian crisis management cell called on securing the necessary funds to provide adequate quantities of chlorine and alum and facilitate their delivery across the border ports to stop cholera outbreak.

In addition,  the WHO announced sending 200,000 doses of cholera vaccine to control the outbreak.

Cholera is a bacterial disease that is most often spread by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Water is contaminated by the feces (stool) of an infected person or by untreated sewage. Food is often contaminated by water containing cholera bacteria or handled by a person ill with cholera.

Often people have mild illness or no symptoms. However, about 1 in 20 (5%) of infected people will have severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.