The spread of cholera 1950-2004

Table of contents
Toward a world of thirst?ForewordExecutive summary Water and population

1. State of the world’s water

2. Freshwater resources3. Coastal and marine water4. Water and climate change

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Increasing floods in between dry periods represent ideal conditions for spreading diseases such as cholera. In Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania located in the desert, precipitations - when they occur - are always accompanied by a cholera epidemic, especially in poor areas where waste matter is not managed. Cholera had almost disappeared globally by the mid 1950s, but it reappeared and spread throughout the world during the last few decades. The World Health Organization (WHO) fears that a rapidly changing climate, combined with declining socio-economic conditions in the poorest part of the population, will contribute to an increasing spread of the disease.

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