By Hassan Isilow
JOHANNESBURG (AA) – The number of confirmed cases of cholera in cyclone-hit areas of Mozambique climbed to 139 Friday, a day after an outbreak of the waterborne disease was declared.
Local media quoted Mozambique’s National Director of Medical Care, Hussen Issa, as saying that cases had spiked from five Thursday to 139 by Friday.
The regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Mozambique said on Twitter Friday that the quick detection and transparent confirmation of cholera cases by health authorities had helped ensure a prompt response.
“900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine from the global stockpile for emergency use are on their way to Mozambique to help contain the spread of this infectious disease,” the WHO said.
Medical charity Doctors Without Borders said in a statement that it is currently supporting the Ministry of Health in caring for patients suspected of suffering from cholera at three health centers in the port city of Beira and has been treating more than 200 patients a day.
Cyclone Idai made landfall in Beira on March 14 with winds of up to 110 miles (177 kilometers) per hour, killing at least 534 people in Mozambique, according to local media.
The combined death toll from the cyclone in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe now stands at over 700.