Cholera Outbreak in Syria – LA Progressive

For centuries, the river Euphrates has flowed steadily through Syria, providing the area with a long-standing source of water used for the country’s drinking water supply, irrigation systems and hydroelectric power production.

The insurmountable basic human needs and financial contributions that the river has graced the country with have enabled it to become one of the most historically significant rivers in West Asia. However, this vital resource on which millions depend has recently been linked to a cholera outbreak affecting some of Syria’s largest cities.

On September 10, after weeks of numerous unconfirmed reports of worrying signs and acute symptoms, the United Nations released a statement declaring the cholera outbreak an ongoing threat. Although only about two hundred cases have been officially confirmed, the estimated current total is reportedly over a thousand – with at least twenty-four fatalities.

While cases have been reported in Deir ez-Zor, Damascus, Ar-Raqqa, Al Hasakeh, Lattakia, Hama and most recently Jarabulus, a majority have plagued the city of Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city. Aleppo’s cases account for over seventy percent of those infected, and reports of infection in other areas have been linked to people traveling from there.

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The eruption is believed to have started and circulated when people drank and used contaminated water from the Euphrates River – whose water levels have dropped in recent years due to rising temperatures caused by the world’s changing climate and neighboring Turkey’s strict water restriction in the north were caused.

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