July 31, 2005

Cholera outbreak kills 58 in Guinea-Bissau

BISSAU (Reuters) - Cholera has killed 58 people in
Guinea-Bissau since the middle of June and infected more than
4,000 others, with the disease spreading through islands off
its Atlantic coast, a health ministry official said on Sunday.

"There have been around 70 cases of cholera declared every
day in the Simao Mendes hospital in (the capital) Bissau since
the outbreak started on June 11," the official said, declining
to be named.

The disease -- an intestinal infection spread by
contaminated water and food -- had also taken hold on the
Bijagos islands, a thinly-populated archipelago belonging to
the former Portuguese colony, the official said.

Guinea-Bissau has received medical supplies from Portugal
to fight the outbreak as well as $100,000 from China. Cholera
can quickly cause severe dehydration and death although many
who die could have been saved by a simple mix of water and