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. Deadly Rain And Flooding In Bolivia Trigger Disease Surge
Reviewing the flooding : Delegate from the municipality of Loreto Edid Guzman(L) rides through a flooded area in a barge in the region of Loreto, 70 kms from Trinidad, Bolivia. Photo courtesy AFP.
Reviewing the flooding : Delegate from the municipality of Loreto Edid Guzman(L) rides through a flooded area in a barge in the region of Loreto, 70 kms from Trinidad, Bolivia. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
La Paz (AFP) Feb 23, 2007
Floods and torrential rain that have killed 35 people and devastated large parts of Bolivia are causing a sharp rise in various diseases, including malaria and dengue, officials said on Friday. To date, 1,660 cases of dengue, 1,452 of malaria and 22 of leptospirosis have been recorded, according to a government report that also mentioned an undetermined number of cases of respiratory illnesses and diarrhea.

Authorities say two months of rain and floods have left 35 people dead, 10 unaccounted for, and affected hundreds of thousands of people.

The disaster, blamed on the El Nino weather phenomenon, also has caused millions of dollars in material losses, mangling crops, killing thousands of heads of cattle and cutting access to some areas in northeastern Bolivia.

"Bolivia is facing one of its most devastating disasters ever," the United Nations said, issuing an appeal for 9.2 million dollars in international aid.

"Water and sanitation conditions have also been seriously affected, with water supplies damaged and/or contaminated and some wells flooded," the United Nations said in a statement.

"Lack of sanitation and hygiene is becoming a secondary threat to the affected population," it said.

And weather forecasters say they expect more rain over the coming days.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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