- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) - Central African Republic’s health minister says at least 12 people have died from cholera since the beginning of August.

Fernande Ndjengbot, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene, said Thursday that 19 cases have been registered, and eight of those people have died where cholera first surfaced in Ndjoukou, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) southeast of Bangui.

She said three others have died in Zawara village and another person died in the capital.

Health authorities have said the U.N. Children’s Agency is working on water purification to help provide safe public drinking water and other non-governmental organizations are also involved.

Cholera is a gastrointestinal disease, usually spread by contaminated water and food, and can cause severe diarrhea that in extreme cases can lead to fatal dehydration and kidney failure within hours.

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