Cholera outbreak leaves 82 dead in Guinea

An outbreak of cholera in Guinea has shown no signs of letting up, with the number of deaths rising to 82 since February.

Dr. Sakoba Keita of the country's health ministry's infection disease department said that the situation was alarming, according to the China Post.

"A week ago we counted 60 dead and 2,054 cases...this week we have recorded 82 dead," Keita said, the China Post reports.

Coastal Basse-Guinee, particularly Forecariah in the southwest, has been hit the worst with 25 dead. The epidemic began in Forecariah in February. The capital city of Conakry has seen the second most deaths with 17, officials report.

"In spite of the authorities' and international organization's awareness campaign at all levels the cholera epidemic continues to rage in Guinea," Keita said, according to the China Post.

Sierra Leone has also suffered a cholera outbreak resulting in 176 deaths and 10,800 reported cases since January. The country's government has declared a national emergency.

Additionally, the disease has sprung up in Mali and Niger, where malnourishment from drought has only exacerbated the problem.

Cholera is usually the result of poor water and sanitation systems. It is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingesting contaminated food and water. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting. The disease can kill in hours, according to the World Health Organization.