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Massive cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone

12,000 sickened, 203 dead since first of year

GENEVA, Switzerland | August 22, 2012

Response to the massive cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone that has sickened thousands must be rapidly increased, the U.N. health organization said.

Nearly 12,000 people have become ill from the disease since the first of the year and 203 people have died, the United Nations reported.

Cholera has now spread to two more districts in the country, said Glenn Thomas, a spokesman for the World health Organization.

He said the WHO was working the Sierra Leone government to identify the disease and notify the public about how to avoid it. Three cholera experts have been sent to the WHO's regional office to help in the response.

Cholera is caused by intestinal bacteria. It causes diarrhea that can lead to dehydration and death.

Thomas added the WHO is working with the Democratic Republic of Congo to deal with an outbreak of the Ebola virus that has killed nine people

He said the WHO was not recommending any restrictions on traveling to the country.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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