Cholera death toll in Zimbabwe climbs to 28 as disease strain become resistant to drugs

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The death toll in Zimbabwe’s cholera outbreak has risen to 28, state media reported, as the health minister announced new antibiotics were being used after the disease strain was found to be resistant to some drugs.

The cholera outbreak, which was first detected earlier this month in a township outside Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, prompted the government to declare an emergency in the city. At least, 3,000 cases were reported.

“Although I cannot say we have contained the disease as yet, we are moving swiftly in all provinces of the country,” health minister Obadiah Moyo told the state-owned Sunday Mail.

“We have moved into the second line of antibiotics, which is azithromycin, after the first line of antibiotics — ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone — have become resistant to the disease.”

Moyo said rubbish dumps would be removed from high-risk areas of Harare, sewer pipes would be repaired and street food vendors had been ordered to halt work.

Authorities have banned public gatherings in the city as a health measure, forcing the opposition MDC party to call off a major rally on Saturday.

Cholera outbreaks have occurred regularly in Zimbabwe as authorities struggle to provide potable water and sanitation facilities.

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