Cholera outbreak in quake-hit northwestern Syria kills two people | Turkey-Syria Earthquake News
Two people have died and 568 non-fatal cases have been reported in quake-hit areas of northwestern Syria.
Two people have died of cholera in northwestern Syria after a devastating earthquake hit the area, emergency responders in the opposition-controlled area said.
The total number of cholera deaths recorded in the northwest since the outbreak began last year has increased to 22 with another 568 non-fatal cases reported, the Syrian Civil Defense Forces, also known as the White Helmets, said in a tweet Tuesday.
“Destruction of infrastructure, water and sewage lines after the earthquake increases the possibility of disease outbreaks,” the volunteer group posted.
The earthquakes have made conditions worse in refugee camps in the region, which already lack sanitation and access to clean water.
Activist Nour Qormoosh told Al Jazeera: “Even before the earthquake, the area was severely affected due to lack of proper drainage as 63% of refugee camps did not have proper drainage and 43% do not have access to clean water.
Qourmoosh said hospitals and medical staff were struggling to treat those injured in the February 6 quake.
“They are trying to cope with a lack of funding because the UN response has been increasingly slow and not responding to the growing need for medical care,” he said.
Thousands of residents lost their homes after the earthquake destroyed their homes, and Qormoosh cites figures compiled by local officials that 20,000 buildings have been destroyed or uninhabitable.
“Thousands of people have been living in shelters provided by NGOs since the beginning of the disaster, and they are very crowded,” he said. “The environment they are living in now will be infected, especially with the latest spread of cholera.”
A United Nations Security Council report last week said the ongoing outbreak was made worse by “severe shortages of clean water” across the country.
It added that Syria’s rainy season is “unusually dry” and hot.
The first cholera outbreak in September was linked to contaminated water near the Euphrates River. Since then, it has spread across various spheres of control in the nation divided by more than a decade of war.