March 14, 2017 / 6:05 PM / in 8 months

Mozambique cholera outbreak spreading, more than 1,200 infected

MAPUTO (Reuters) - A cholera outbreak in parts of Mozambique has infected more than 1,200 people, killing two this month after heavy rains, and will spread further if no action is taken, a health ministry official said on Tuesday.

The disease, which is usually contracted from infected water, has already spread from the capital Maputo to another three of Mozambique’s 13 provinces since the start of this year, deputy director of public health Benigna Matsinhe told Reuters.

“But there are 19 more districts on the verge of seeing outbreaks of cholera in the coming days if nothing is done to prevent the spread of the disease. It is a situation that is of concern to the Ministry of Health,” said Matsinhe.

One of the deaths this month occurred in Maputo, while the other fatality was recorded in the northwestern province of Tete four days ago, the official said.

A widespread drought across southern Africa last year parched the land ahead of Mozambique’s rainy season. Last month a tropical storm caused widespread flooding and killed at least 7 people.

Cholera causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and is often lethal if not treated swiftly.

Reporting by Manuel Mucari; Writing by TJ Strydom; Editing by Richard Lough

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