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Lebanon records first cholera case since 1993

Caretaker Health Minister said the case was recorded on Oct. 5 in Akkar and that the patient, a Syrian national, was receiving treatment and in stable condition.

Lebanon records first cholera case since 1993

A lab technician works on samples to test for cholera, at a hospital in Syria's northern city of Aleppo, Sept. 11, 2022. (Credit: FP)

BEIRUT - Lebanon has recorded its first case of cholera since 1993, likely the result of a serious outbreak in neighboring Syria crossing the porous border between the countries, caretaker Health Minister Firas Abiad said in an interview on Thursday.

Abiad said the case was recorded on Oct. 5 in the rural northern Lebanese region of Akkar and that the patient, a Syrian national, was receiving treatment and in stable condition.

A cholera outbreak in Syria has claimed dozens of lives, stirring fears in crowded camps for the displaced who lack running water or sewage systems.

The outbreak of the waterborne disease was first linked to contaminated water near the Euphrates river that bisects the country, but has spread across Syria, with thousands of suspected or confirmed cases reported.

The widespread destruction of national water infrastructure after more than a decade of war means much of the Syrian population is reliant on unsafe water sources.

Lebanon's water infrastructure is also derelict and the healthcare system has been hit hard by a three-year financial crisis and the August 2020 Beirut port blast that destroyed critical medical infrastructure in the capital.

Despite humanitarian aid from donor countries, Abiad said the sector would struggle to cope with a large-scale outbreak.

"We have a very clear signal that the Lebanese healthcare system needs support," he said. "Otherwise ... it won't be able to hold."

Recommendations from the Ministry

Following this announcement, the Ministry of Public Health released the following recommendations and urged citizens and residents to abide by them to prevent the spread of the disease:

•. Drink water from sealed water containers that are from a guaranteed source

•. Avoid sharing the same utensils with others

• Wash hands with soap and water on a regular basis before preparing or eating food, and after using the toilet

• Maintain personal hygiene and food hygiene

• Cook the food very well and eat it immediately after cooking it

• See your doctor immediately in case of persistent diarrhea


Reporting contributed by Timour Azhari.


BEIRUT - Lebanon has recorded its first case of cholera since 1993, likely the result of a serious outbreak in neighboring Syria crossing the porous border between the countries, caretaker Health Minister Firas Abiad said in an interview on Thursday.Abiad said the case was recorded on Oct. 5 in the rural northern Lebanese region of Akkar and that the patient, a Syrian national, was receiving...