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Scores die of cholera in Cameroon

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The deaths occurred in the country's Far North region
  • Along with the deaths, many have been sickened
  • Cholera is caused by contaminated water

(CNN) -- More than 100 people have died of cholera in Cameroon, according to Joseph Beti Assomo, a regional governor.

The deaths occurred in the Far North region of northern Cameroon, and the fatalities come since a cholera outbreak warning in June.

More than 600 people have been stricken with the water-borne disease, the governor said, but a local non-governmental organization, Cameroon Health, said more than twice that number -- 1,500 people -- are sick.

According to a Cameroon Ministry of Water and Energy official, 70 percent of those living in the Far North do not have access to potable water.

There has been flooding in the region recently, and officials think it might have aggravated the spread of the disease. It's the border region of Nigeria and Chad, and is close to the the Chadian capital of N'Djamena.

The disease is caused by contaminated water, and many people with cholera suffer acute watery diarrhea, which leads to severe dehydration. If left untreated, it can kill quickly, possibly within hours, the World Health Organization says.

Journalist Moki Kindzeka in Yaounde, Cameroon, and CNN's Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.