Iraqi health officials say cholera outbreak is under control

Iraqi public health authorities recently asserted that a cholera outbreak responsible for the deaths of four people is now under control.

The Iraqi officials blamed contaminated water for the outbreak, noting the country is still struggling with its crumbling infrastructure, according to AINA.org.

The victims were mostly located in Kurdistan, Iraq's northernmost region, where another 272 victims were confirmed to have been infected by the waterborne illness. Fifteen cases of the disease were reported in Kirkuk, the regions capital.

"Measures are ongoing to treat the remaining cases, and we can say that this disease is now under control and the situation back to normal," Kurdistan's Health Minister Rekawt Hama Rasheed said, OmanTribune.com reports.

Cholera is not considered uncommon in Iraq, where approximately 24 people died and more than 4,000 cases were reported during a 2007 outbreak. Iraq's water and sewage systems are dilapidated after years of war and neglect, creating an effective breeding ground for the parasite that causes the illness.

Rasheed said his department believes the infection originated from polluted water coming from a dam and nearby well in Sulaimaniya province.

The Iraqi central government's Minister of Health Majeed Hamad Amin recently said that cholera cases generally appear in the country every three to four years, mostly as a result of polluted water sources, according to OmanTribune.com.