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Typhoid outbreak in Zimbabwe coincides with beginning of rainy season

Lack of clean water and inadequate sanitation has led to a typhoid outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, and scientists warn that cholera could be next, IRIN reports.

Typhoid and cholera are both bacterial diseases that are transmitted by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water, though cholera has been known to be more deadly. Prosper Chonzi, the director of health services for Harare Municipality told the news source that more than 36 people are currently being treated for typhoid in the city while 200 suspected cases have been called in.

As of now, no deaths have been reported. Chonzi said there are enough medical supplies on hand currently to help those infected, though if numbers continue to rise, medicine may become scarce.

The recent outbreak most likely stemmed from the beginning of the rainy season last week, which was met with a national power failure that halted water supplies and drainage pumps.

According to Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, the Water Resources Management Minister, the government and humanitarians will be giving Harare $50 million to use to install more efficient drainage systems to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases in the future.
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