Unsanitary water sources are thought to have caused the outbreak (file photo) (epa)
September 11, 2007 -- UN agencies have confirmed a cholera epidemic in northern Iraq and placed the whole country on high alert in response to the outbreak.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said there have been almost 7,000 cases of cholera reported and 10 deaths in two weeks. Nine of the fatalities were in Al-Sulaymaniyah Governorate, while another person died in the northern city of Kirkuk.
Cholera was confirmed in some 300 laboratory tests. The outbreak was thought to be caused by infected water supplies.
On August 29, the health minister for the northern Kurdistan region, Zryan Othman, warned that the disease could spread to other areas, including Baghdad, if the international community did not offer urgent help.