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Three deaths and 39 cases of cholera in a refugee camp in northern Cameroon

Three deaths and 39 cases of cholera in a refugee camp in northern Cameroon
Three people have died of cholera and 39 have been infected in the Minawao...   -  
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Sunday Alamba/ASSOCIATED PRESS -

Cameroon

Three people have died of cholera and 39 have been infected in the Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon's Far North region, the United Nations said Wednesday.

Cholera, an acute diarrheal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated, periodically reappears in Cameroon, a central African country with a population of more than 25 million.

Cholera is contracted by drinking water or eating food products contaminated with the vibrio cholera bacterium.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said it was "deeply saddened by the deaths of three refugees from cholera.

The UN agency said in a statement that it was working "with the Cameroonian government and UN agencies (...) to provide urgent care for those who are ill and to break the chain of transmission.

The first case of cholera was diagnosed in the camp on Saturday.

As of Tuesday, "24 of the 39 patients were receiving treatment" at health facilities in Minawao. UNHCR said the patients were "in serious but stable condition," while 12 people "have recovered and returned home," it said.

"Drinking water sources and sanitation facilities have become insufficient" in the face of the camp's growing population, which has "almost doubled" since 2015 to now accommodate nearly 75,000 people.

Northeastern Nigeria has been plagued by deadly conflict since 2009 and the launch of attacks by Boko Haram Islamists.

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