An outbreak of cholera that left five people dead in two villages in the Tadjourah region of northwestern Djibouti has been contained, an official with the UN World Health Organization (WHO) said on 29 May.
"No new cases have been reported in the area since 18 May," Djibouti-based WHO medical officer Karim Djibaoui told IRIN. Efforts to bring the outbreak under control included setting up emergency treatment centres in the affected areas, providing clean drinking water and launching a hygiene awareness campaign, he added.
About 76 cases of the disease, including the five fatalities, had been reported in the area in the first two weeks of May.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by bacteria, spread through the consumption of contaminated water and food. Symptoms include diarrhoea and vomiting, leading to severe dehydration and even death if left untreated.
A Djibouti news agency, Agence Djiboutienne D'Information, said local health officials had linked the latest outbreak in Hangade and Balho localities in Tadjourah to the use of water from a contaminated well by illegal immigrants.
According to WHO, recommended cholera control measures include the hygienic disposal of human faeces, the provision of adequate and safe drinking water, and ensuring the best possible standards of food hygiene, including thorough cooking and avoiding food that may have come into contact with contaminated surfaces.