Following the registration of cases … Fear of cholera spread to Iraq and the repetition of Covid’s “tragedy”.

Baghdad today – Baghdad

In Erbil, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Amin, a two-year-old boy, had severe diarrhea and vomiting about 14 days ago, during a tourist trip with his parents to escape the hot weather of Baghdad during this period. of the year.

After tests at the governor’s hospital, Amin was given intravenous and oral perfusion solutions, but his father did not know he had cholera until after his return to Baghdad and through a pharmacist who read the tests.

Later, Ahmed Al-Naseer, Amin’s father, said he was infected with the virus after being visited by a doctor, but he told Al-Hurra that he was “convinced by the pharmacist’s analysis” because “there are dozens of people with the same.the disease in the hospital, which was apparently prepared for treatment, which shows that the disease has long existed.

Al-Naseer was fully convinced of the pharmacist’s diagnosis after consulting a specialized non-governmental laboratory, which told him that his child had cholera.

And the Iraqi Ministry of Health said in its latest data that there are 13 cases registered in the country, including 10 in the Governor of Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq, one in Kirkuk and two in the southern Governor of Muthanna.

However, according to Dr. Muhammad al-Najm, a doctor working in Dohuk, the situation may be different.

The star told Al-Hurra that there is a meeting, to be held on Monday, with the Iraq Health Group Program led by the World Health Organization to discuss the issue.

The star declined to discuss the details of the illness or his information about him and said he would get more information after the meeting.

But he said: “Regardless of the figures, spreading health awareness will help protect and control the outbreak of the epidemic, because Iraq is one of the countries where cholera is endemic every year, especially during this period.”

He called for the practice of healthy habits and hygiene, drinking clean and sterile water, frequent hand washing, good cooking of food, and good washing of fruits and vegetables.

Contaminated water is one of the main sources of disease spread

Health Ministry spokesmen declined to comment on Al-Hurra’s website, and one of them asked the website to contact the Iraqi director of public health, who did not respond to the site’s communications.

And health officials did not respond to messages after learning that the topic of Al-Hurra’s report would be the spread of cholera.

The Iraqi journalist, Ahmed Hussein, said that “Health Ministry officials do not answer any questions about the disease” and that “injury registration is usually done under the name of other diseases”.

Al-Hurra’s website was unable to confirm this information, but Hussein told Al-Hurra that “field information indicates that there are hundreds of victims receiving treatment in hospitals.”

There are other patients who basically do not go to the hospital, which complicates the issue of registering their injuries.

Jihad Radi, an Iraqi from Baghdad, told Al-Hurra he had severe diarrhea without any pain.

He added that he “referred to the pharmacist”, who told him that these were symptoms of cholera and described “antibiotics and perfusion solutions”, noting that “he was dehydrated for two days, but he improved”.

After his injury, other members of his family complained of the same symptoms.

“Cholera is an endemic disease in Iraq, which is witnessing an epidemic of this disease every few years, starting in 1966,” said Ghassan Aziz, an Iraqi doctor specializing in epidemiological monitoring.

Aziz wrote in a Facebook post that “cholera is endemic in one of the outbreaks in Sulaymaniyah province, and this focus is expected and not frightening, and records cases that increase or decrease every year”, adding: “With each outbreak “epidemics are widespread. In some governments in Iraq, social immunity will increase rapidly.” “And within a few months among the population to the extent that the outbreak of the epidemic will occur for a maximum of two consecutive years in the summer season and then it will stop.”

He continued: “When an outbreak occurs, any person suffering from watery diarrhea should be considered a case of cholera, even if it can not be laboratory confirmed, and therefore all necessary preventive measures should be taken with any person who suffers from this condition in. time “, highlighting:” An Iraqi, occurs Outbreaks usually occur for two summer seasons every 7 to 8 years, which is the period required for a decrease in community immunity or a small change in the cell wall of cholera bacteria to allow it to spread again.

People infected with cholera in Iraq during a 2015 outbreak

He explained that “governorates that depend on the Euphrates River for water supply in central and southern Iraq are most affected by the disease and there are frequent outbreaks in the governments of Babylon, Karbala, Najaf and Basra.”

He warned that “cholera will spread to central and southern Iraq to a large extent over the next three months and in the summer of 2023, unless rapid steps are taken to increase the purification and sterilization of drinking water and to establish great control over the preparation and sale of beverages and food ”.

He concluded: “We lost many of our loved ones during the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic. I hope this time we have learned from our mistakes and not repeat the same tragedy.”

Aziz refrained from making statements to Al-Hurra because he “works in an international organization”, stressing that his views on the matter “are personal and should not be attributed to the organization”.

Cholera had a major outbreak in Iraq in 2015, prompting the World Health Organization to launch a vaccination tour in the country.

“Clean water, sanitation and personal hygiene are essential measures to prevent and control cholera epidemics, and cholera vaccination is an additional, effective and safe tool that can be used in appropriate circumstances as a priority complement to control measures.” of cholera, not as a substitute. for him “, says WHO.

She says the disease can cause death if left untreated, and “it affects children and adults and can kill them within hours if left untreated.”

“Most people infected with Vibrio cholera show no symptoms, even though the bacteria are present in their waste for a period of one to 10 days after infection, so it is released back into the environment and can infect other people. “, She added. .

Most people infected with this disease show mild or moderate symptoms, while a minority develop acute watery diarrhea accompanied by severe dehydration.

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