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Cholera death toll rises to over 420 in Cameroon

A further 26 people have died in Cameroon’s ongoing cholera outbreak in the past two weeks, taking the overall death toll to 426, a health ministry official said.

The outbreak was declared in October 2021 and has seen a strong increase in cases since late March of this year after a period of low transmission, according to the World Health Organization.

The number of confirmed cases in Cameroon now stands at 1,868, said ministry official Linda Esso.

Cholera can cause acute diarrhoea, vomiting and weakness and is mainly spread by contaminated food or water. It can kill within hours if untreated. Fourteen African countries have reported cases since the start of 2023, the WHO said in a report on Thursday.

It said it was particularly concerned as many countries were reporting higher case fatality ratios than in previous years.

In Cameroon, “more than 79% of cases reach health facilities in a moderate or severe state,” increasing the chances of the cases proving fatal, the health ministry said in a situation report, seen by Reuters.