Severe diarrhoea strike survivors of Pakistan quake

日期:2019-03-02 08:04:01 作者:淳于堇蚀 阅读:

By Gaia Vince Severe outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea are among the latest health problems facing survivors of the Pakistan earthquake. Several hundred survivors of the 8 October quake have succumbed to diarrhoea in makeshift camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, according to the World Health Organization. Doctors are still investigating whether the outbreaks are caused by a serious illness such as cholera, but WHO officials stress there is no evidence for this so far. The most recent outbreak occurred in a camp that sprung up spontaneously after the tremor and now houses about 3000 people. It is sited near a demolished university campus in Muzaffarabad, the region’s capital. Health workers said the situation in the camp had been worsening, due to poor sanitation and a lack of fresh water, but is now under control. On Monday alone, medics treated more than 170 cases of dysentery, giving rehydration salts and intravenous drips to the sick. Aid workers have also been digging latrines and trying to improve the water supply. Acute diarrhoea can be caused by bacteria or viruses that spread in contaminated water. Without treatment, the condition can lead to rapid dehydration and death. One WHO worker said that there were so many spontaneous camps that there could be many hundreds of other diarrhoea cases. Pakistani officials now put the death toll from the quake, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale, at 73,000 although international aid agencies say it is higher. On Tuesday, one of the country’s finance ministry advisers put the toll at 87,000. In addition, nearly 1400 Indian Kashmiris died in the disaster. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says there has been a recent shift in health problems from physical injuries and trauma to infectious diseases. Acute respiratory infections, watery diarrhoea and skin problems are all on the rise and outbreaks are expected to continue,