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More Cholera Cases Confirmed in Zimbabwe as Rainy Season Approaches

Concern is growing in Zimbabwe as to the risk of a fresh outbreak of cholera following the confirmation of five new cases in the Chiredzi district of Masvingo province.

Word of the latest cases, recorded in Sengwe, along Zimbabwe's border with Mozambique, has heightened fears of a new epidemic of the disease, which claimed more than 4,200 lives between late 2008 and mid-2009, in particular once the rainy season begins.

Masvingo Province Medical Director Robert Mudyirandima told VOA that a cholera outbreak in neighbouring Mozambique could be to blame for the new cases in Masvingo. He said his department is working to ensure cholera does not spread to other areas.

Zimbabwean health authorities confirmed the cholera cases, which follow confirmation of some 27 cases of the H1N1 virus or swine flu out of 631 people tested.

Health experts say that with the rainy season now upon the country, cholera could take off if further measures are not taken to ensure clean water is available to all.

Chief Executive Officer Itai Rusike of the Community Working Group on Health told Sandra Nyaira of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that clean water is the key to stopping cholera.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...