Lebanon has reported its first death due to cholera, as the number of cases rose to 26 in the impoverished northern region, according to the health ministry.
Lebanon reported its first cholera cases in almost three decades last Thursday in Akkar, a region that borders Syria.
The UN said it is alarmed over the worsening cholera outbreak in Syria, the first in the country in more than a decade.
More than 10,000 suspected cases have been reported across the country in the past six weeks alone, the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.
The developments take place as Lebanon’s economy continues to spiral, plunging three-quarters of its population into poverty. Rampant power cuts, water shortages and skyrocketing inflation have deteriorated living conditions for millions.
The Lebanese health minister added that the authorities have been working with the United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health Organisation for weeks to ensure the cash-strapped country can respond to a possible outbreak, and expand testing capacities at hospitals and labs.
According to the WHO, a cholera infection is caused by consuming food or water infected with the Vibrio cholerae bacteria, and while most cases are mild to moderate, not treating the illness could lead to death.