Earth Watch  Report  –  Epidemic Hazards

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholera of serogroups O1 or O139. Humans are the only relevant reservoir, even though Vibrios can survive for a long time in coastal waters contaminated by human excreta.
08.12.2012 Epidemic Hazard Zimbabwe Capital City, Harare Damage level Details

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Epidemic Hazard in Zimbabwe on Saturday, 08 December, 2012 at 15:48 (03:48 PM) UTC.

Description
Five people have died in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare following a fresh cholera outbreak, city officials said on Friday. Six hundred new cases of the water borne disease have been recorded since the end of October. Harare City Council deputy director of health Prosper Chonzi said most of the deaths occurred at high density suburbs without access to clean water. “The fight against typhoid, which began in the city last year, is far from over as we continue to record fresh outbreaks,” he told state television on Friday. Typhoid is a bacterial disease transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with faeces of an infected person. Harare’s water supplies are heavily polluted by sewerage from burst pipes that go for days without repairs. A University of Zimbabwe environmentalist, Prof Chris Magadza, this week revealed that a river that feeds the city’s main water source – Lake Chivero – now supplied 50 per cent clean water while the remainder was “our returned urine”.
Biohazard name: Cholera (Typhoid)
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

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