Cholera outbreak in Nepal under control, says WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) says a cholera outbreak that struck 1,400 people in mid-western Nepal and resulted in eight deaths - including at least five children - is now under control.

The outbreak in Nepalgunj, a city on the border with India, started around 28 July, said Nirmal Kandel, epidemiologist and national professional officer with WHO. "After about five days [from 28 July], the cases started to decline. It was cholera. It was controlled by 13-14 August. Diarrhoea is endemic, and it's now at the endemic level. I cannot say there are no cases, but there's no outbreak. It's at the normal routine level."

Nepal is nearing the end of its monsoon season, during which time diarrhoea-related illnesses normally spike because of contaminated water sources.

"The problem you'll find now is gastrointestinal - diarrhoea, dysentery - because of the rainy season," said Ravi Kafle, surveillance medical officer for WHO in Nepalgunj. "The number of cases [from the cholera outbreak] has decreased by a great extent and there have been no more casualties."