This month, there have been at least 26 cases recorded in Lebanon, most likely as a result of a major epidemic in nearby Syria.
Lebanon has now reported its first cholera-related fatality since the disease was discovered there in October.
On October 5, Lebanon reported its first cholera case since 1993, most likely as a result of a significant outbreak in neighboring Syria that crossed the border and was made worse by inadequate sanitation and deteriorating infrastructure in Lebanon following a three-year unparalleled economic crisis.
The health ministry announced on Wednesday that there had been 26 illnesses reported so far this month.
The bulk of the patients in these situations are displaced Syrians.
In Lebanon, the absence of essential amenities like clean water and sanitary sewage networks in areas where refugees congregate creates a perfect setting for the epidemic to flourish.
41 people have died from cholera in Syria, and there have been more than 700 cases. The epidemic is “developing rapidly.”
Syria’s civil conflict, which began in 2011, has left more than a million refugees in Lebanon.
Since Lebanon’s economy has been struggling, the majority of people there are now living in worsening poverty.
Cholera typically results in vomiting and diarrhea and is spread by contaminated food or water. It is more likely to spread in populated neighborhoods without adequate sewage networks or access to main water supplies.
According to WHO, cholera may kill within hours if ignored, yet many infected people will exhibit very mild or no symptoms.
However, the WHO warns that more severe cases may require intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Oral rehydration treatments can easily treat it.
Every year, between 1.3 million and 4 million people are afflicted by the sickness, and between 21,000 and 143,000 people die as a result.