- Cape fines contractor $1,100 a day for street-project delays; contractor blames utility relocations (5/18/17)13
- Deputies: Man, woman tried to arrange killing of his estranged wife (5/21/17)1
- Attorney general seeks bond revocation for embattled sheriff (5/17/17)3
- I will not be silenced (5/16/17)4
- Tractors owners to open restaurant in new Drury Plaza Hotel (5/15/17)
- Cape police say man assaulted, kidnapped girlfriend (5/21/17)2
- Mississippi County sheriff fights efforts in court to remove him from office (5/21/17)4
- Attorney general to review request to probe Oran timecard allegations; claims spark denials on Facebook (5/16/17)2
- Man accused of using stolen RV to break into airport (5/16/17)
- Cape man accused of shooting a woman in Jackson (5/21/17)
Afghan capital on verge of epidemic
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Afghan capital is on the verge of a cholera epidemic, with more than 2,000 cases of the disease and at least eight deaths reported in recent weeks, a health expert warned Tuesday.
Afghanistan's Health Ministry on Monday confirmed up to 300 cases, but claimed they have been dealt with and there had been no fatalities. It said there was no risk of the disease spreading.
But on Tuesday, Fred Hartman, technical director for a USAID-backed health and development program, told The Associated Press that eight or nine people had died in the past two weeks, and warned the disease could spread quickly throughout the city's 4 million population.
Hartman said the disease had been detected in wells around the city, the source for drinking water for most of the city's residents. He added that the government was well-equipped to deal with the outbreak and had set up an emergency task force to ensure that hospitals have the necessary equipment and medicine to treat patients.
He said the disease had been detected in wells around the city, the source of drinking water for most of the city's residents.
Cholera is a major killer in developing countries, where it is spread mainly through contaminated food or water. The bacterium attacks the intestine and causes diarrhea and dehydration.
The warning was in stark contrast to Health Ministry official Ahmid Shah Shukomand's claim Monday that the outbreak had been contained.
"We had about 200 to 300 cases, but they were discharged from hospitals after treatment," Shukomand told The Associated Press.
Shukomand on Tuesday reiterated those comments, and said even those few hundred people suspected of having cholera have not been confirmed to have the illness.
He said authorities had launched a campaign urging people to boil drinking water, wash vegetables before eating them and regularly wash hands. Health ministry workers have chlorinated wells throughout the city, he added.
A spokesman for UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, Edward Carwardine, said the last cholera outbreak in Kabul was in 2003 when there were 7,000 suspected cases. But he said the government was fast to respond and the disease quickly disappeared after wells were chlorinated.
In 2001, 114 people died from a cholera outbreak in Afghanistan's north, according to the World Health Organization's Web site. It had not information on the latest cases.
On the Net:
World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/en/