UN mobilizes for possible cholera outbreak after earthquake in Afghanistan

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The United Nations (UN) humanitarian office said it is mobilizing to prevent an outbreak of cholera in the Afghanistan after the earthquake registered in the country on Wednesday (22). According to the UN, half a million cases of acute, watery diarrhea have been reported to date.

“You cholera outbreaks after earthquakes are a particular and serious concern,” the office said in a statement Thursday. “Preparations to prevent an outbreak are underway.”

The office also said it sought to confirm that search and rescue operations were nearing completion, after Taliban officials on Wednesday indicated they were 90% complete.

Cholera is an acute infectious intestinal bacterial disease, transmitted by contact with feces or by ingestion of contaminated water and food. In most cases, the infection is asymptomatic or causes mild diarrhea. However, it can present in a severe form, with watery diarrhea, with or without vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps.

According to the Ministry of Health, when not treated promptly, cholera can lead to severe dehydration and serious, life-threatening complications. The disease is directly linked to basic sanitation and hygiene.

Earthquake causes thousands of deaths

The death toll in a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in Afghanistan on Wednesday reached 1,000, disaster management officials said, with more than 600 injured. These numbers are expected to increase as information comes in from remote mountain villages.

Local media photos show houses reduced to rubble and bodies wrapped in blankets on the ground. The number of people trapped under rubble and in outlying areas is not known, and rescue operations are carried out in difficult conditions, including heavy rains, landslides and many villages nestled in inaccessible areas on the slopes, health and aid workers said. humanitarian.

“Many people are still buried under the ground. Islamic Emirate rescue teams have arrived and, with the help of the local population, are trying to evacuate the dead and wounded,” a health worker at a hospital in Paktika province said, requesting anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Mounting a rescue operation will be a major test for the Taliban’s Islamic authorities, who took control of the country last August after two decades of war and were cut off from much international assistance because of sanctions. The Taliban-led defense ministry is leading the rescue efforts.

(With information from Lucas Rocha, from CNN)

Source: CNN Brasil

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