Algiers, Jan 26, 2019 (AFP) - Algeria's civil protection unit said Saturday five people died after being swept away by flood waters as a cold snap in the Maghreb brought snow to several of the country's regions. "All the victims have been retrieved over the last 48 hours after being swept away by waters in Annaba, El Tarf, Tizi Ouzou and Tipaza," the civil protection body said.
Salvage operations took place in more than 17 areas and around 100 people have been rescued in the last 24 hours. A total of 33 roads remain blocked in over 10 regions because of snow, the civil protection unit said, adding "snow clearing operations are progressing". Elsewhere in North Africa, neighbouring Tunisia's interior ministry said on Friday two people were killed by flooding and cold weather, after heavy snowfall.
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2018 19:45:37 +0200
Toulouse, France, Sept 5, 2018 (AFP) - A sick eight-year-old triggered a cholera scare onboard a flight from the Algerian city of Oran to Perpignan in southern France on Wednesday. The child was among 147 passengers on the ASL Airlines flight who were kept on the plane for about an hour after it landed. They were eventually allowed off after disinfecting their hands. Local authorities in Perpignan later said that after being taken to hospital for medical tests, the child was found not to have cholera. Algeria, a former French colony, was last month hit by its first cholera outbreak in over two decades.
Two people have died and dozens more been infected since the outbreak began, the Algerian health ministry said in a statement at the weekend. French authorities kept contact details of all passengers on the flight in order to monitor their health in the event that a case of cholera was confirmed. Cholera is transmitted through infected faecal matter, often via contaminated water or food. It causes acute diarrhoea and vomiting, inducing dehydration that if left untreated can lead to death.
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2018 19:19:57 +0200
Algiers, Aug 30, 2018 (AFP) - The cholera outbreak that struck Algeria this month is now confined to one of six areas originally affected and the number of hospital patients is falling, the government said Thursday. "The epidemic is now limited to the Blida" area located around 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Algiers, the health ministry said in a statement. The outbreak in early August was Algeria's first for 22 years, hitting Algiers, Blida, Tipaza, Bouria, Medea and Ain Defla.
The number of people newly hospitalised with suspected cholera has fallen by 56 percent in the past three days and 61 percent of the approximately 200 patients hospitalised since the outbreak began have returned home. All patients admitted to El Kettar hospital in Algiers -- one of two hospitals nationally where suspected cases have been quarantined -- have been released, the ministry said.
Only Boufarik hospital, 20 kilometres south of the capital in Blida area, still hosts cholera patients. Between the start of the outbreak and 28 August, there have been 62 confirmed cases, including two deaths, the ministry said. Cholera is transmitted through infected faecal matter, often via contaminated water or food. It causes acute watery diarrhoea and vomiting, causing dehydration that if left untreated can lead to death.
The Ministry of Health said yesterday [29 Aug 2018] that 2 people have died of cholera in Algeria as 62 cases of disease have been identified since the start of August 2018. According to a ministry statement, 62 cases had been confirmed as of [Tue 28 Aug 2018] with another 173 suspected cases.
"All preventive measures have been taken with a view to pre-empting the spread of the disease," the statement read. Since cases of the disease first appeared in mid-August , the Algerian health authorities have been trying to determine its source. The Health Ministry had earlier attributed its appearance to contaminated water in Tipaza state, west of the capital. This was denied by local authorities. Cholera, which has not been seen in Algeria for more than 2 decades, is an infectious disease that causes severe diarrhoea. It is potentially fatal if the sufferer does not receive proper medical treatment.
[The number of cases of cholera, likely waterborne, in Algeria continues to increase. - ProMED Mod.LL]
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2018 05:43:06 +0200 By Abdelhafid Daamache
Boufarik, Algeria, Aug 30, 2018 (AFP) - Outside a hospital in Algeria, worried relatives arrive daily in a desperate bid to talk to those quarantined inside -- the victims of the country's first cholera outbreak in more than 20 years. Cases began appearing in early August and two people have so far died, with scores hospitalised in Boufarik, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Algiers. Said, whose mother has been quarantined for 10 days, told AFP he is "tired and demoralised". "I want to visit my mother. But they do not allow me access", he said.
Only suspected cholera admissions, confirmed cases and staff are allowed into Boufarik hospital's infectious diseases department, where 91 people have been quarantined. For others, access is "formally forbidden", said manager Reda Daghbouche. If they are fit enough to leave their beds, patients on the ground floor can talk to their loved ones through the windows. Standing a metre (yard) or so in front of an open window with blue shutters, three women covered their mouths with veils or handkerchiefs, as they exchanged a few words with a relative. And truck driver Fatah spoke through the bars of a locked door to his mother -- one of 59 confirmed cases. "Thank God, she is now on her two feet -- when we brought her to the hospital she was in a serious condition, we thought we'd lose her", he said. Fatah has visited his mother every day for 12 days and "hopes for her release very soon".
- Suspect watermelons - Patients arriving at the hospital with acute watery diarrhoea and vomiting -- key cholera symptoms -- are immediately placed in isolation. Samples are sent to the Pasteur Institute, the national body in charge of infectious diseases, to test for Vibrio cholerae bacteria. Patients are rehydrated while they await results. "Analysis takes from three to seven days", said Daghbouche. Those who test negative are sent home, while confirmed cases are kept in hospital until tests show the Vibrio bug has disappeared.
In the hospital yard, a 35-year-old man kicked his heels, not quite sure what to do with himself. He told AFP he has been cured of cholera, after eight days in hospital. But around 10 of his relatives are still hospitalised, he added, declining to give his name. Residents of Boufarik who live close to the hospital do not disguise their concern.
Many are poorly informed about cholera, which is transmitted through infected faecal matter, often via contaminated water or food. A grocer told AFP he wears medical gloves in case "the banknotes are contaminated". While the authorities insist tap water has not been compromised, the cost of mineral water has soared. And anti-bacterial gel has sold out locally.
Meanwhile, watermelons -- allegedly the origin of the outbreak, since they absorb large quantities of untreated water -- won't sell for any price. On Tuesday, 16 patients were allowed to go home from Boufarik hospital. An elderly man jumped for joy, as he saw his daughter leave the isolation wing after 10 days inside. He kissed the security guards who had stopped him from entering the wing. The released patients ran to their relatives' cars, desperate to leave. Those who remain in quarantine are like "prisoners waiting to be pardoned", said Fatah, disappointed that his mother remains inside.