ERBIL — The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria, Imran Riza, has expressed strong concerns over the outbreak of cholera in northeast of Syria, where at least two people have so far died of the disease.
Between 25 August and 10 September, the surveillance data indicated that a total of 936 severe acute watery diarrhea cases were registered in Syria, among which were at least eight deaths, the UN said.
Meanwhile, the EU aid organization ECHO noted in a statement that 17 cases had been recorded and two people had lost their lives due to cholera in two health facilities in Deir Ezzor and Raqqa National Hospital.
"The source of infection is being investigated and it is suspected to stem from water from the Euphrates River, and/or an ice-cube factory," ECHO said, as cited by Kurdistan 24.
The UN Coordination Riza also said "source of infection is believed to be linked to people drinking unsafe water from the Euphrates River and using contaminated water to irrigate crops, resulting in food contamination."
The UN official pointed out that the outbreak also indicates severe water shortages throughout Syria, adding: "The United Nations have been sounding alarm bells on this issue for some time."
"With the Euphrates levels continuing to decrease, drought-like conditions and the extent of destruction of the national water infrastructure, much of the already vulnerable population of Syria is reliant on unsafe water sources, which may lead to the spread of dangerous water-borne diseases, particularly among children," he warned.