Australia Helps Fight Cholera Outbreak In Papua New Guinea

By on Nov 29, 2010 in Australia, Health, Science, World Comments

There is a cholera outbreak in Papua New Guinea (PNG), where more than 100 villagers are feared to have died, according to several news sites on Friday. The cholera outbreak was reported to have originated in Daru, a tiny island off the coast of PNG‘s Western Province near to Cape York, Australia.

Cholera Bacteria
Cholera Bacteria
Image Credit: Schmidtandclark.com

“There have been 32 confirmed deaths in Daru caused by cholera and 870, mostly mild, cases of acute watery diarrhea. Although the data is not entirely reliable, it now seems that the South Fly District (of PNG) reports possibly 400 cases with around 100 deaths,” a spokesman was quoted saying.

To contain the risks of further outbreak, travels between the Torres Strait Islands and neighbouring Papua New Guinea have been restricted by Australia.

A $1.7 million in assistance has been provided by Australia to fight the outbreak. Medical supplies and other relief efforts are regularly supplied by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Australian aid agency, AusAID.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced last week that the government would make an extra $500,000 available to fight cholera in PNG and the Torres Straits in addition to the $1.7 million already given.

Cholera makes people only mildly sick, but up to 10 percent of patients develop severe illness. It can be transmitted by water contaminated by bacteria from an infected person.



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