Wednesday, 14 June 2017 03:00

WHO and health authorities immediately investigate suspected cases of foodborne illness in Hassan Sham U2 camp

Baghdad, 13 June 2017: The World Health Organization in coordination with Erbil and Ninewa Directorates of Health (DOH), rapidly responded to suspected foodborne illness outbreak in Hassan Sham U2 camp by conducting an investigation with the aim to identify the source and cause of the outbreak, treat those ill as well as contain and prevent any spread.

On 12 June 2017 at approximately 9:00 pm, the DOH Erbil received notification of suspected foodborne disease in Hassan Sham U2 IDP camp, West of Erbil. Together with Erbil health authorities, an investigation team was dispatched to the field. Eight hundred and twenty five (825) cases have been reported, of these 638 were referred to various health facilities; 386 cases have been admitted to hospitals in Erbil. Currently, no deaths have been documented. The affected communities are mainly IDPs from west Mosul of which a third of all the cases are children and two thirds are females.

Stool and food samples have been collected and transported to Central Public Health Laboratory in Erbil for further analysis.

The majority of the cases predominately presented with vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, consistent with foodborne illness. All patients referred to health facilities have rapidly improved on supportive medical treatment.

Critical outbreak response measures:
 Ninty four ambulances dispatched to the camp to support the transportation of cases to various hospitals where they could receive prompt emergency care and supportive treatment.
 IV fluids, oral rehydration salts (ORS) and cannulas have been dispatched to the health facilities to urgently respond to the needs.
 Food and stool samples have been sent to Central Public Health Laboratory in Erbil.
 WHO medical team visited the camp and Central Emergency Hospital in Erbil to conducted additional investigations.
 Health partners: ADRA, IOM, MSF and Barzani Charity Foundation (BCF) are effectively identifying and managing the cases.

The Ministry of Health will communicate the findings of the laboratory investigations and report to all health partners and stakeholders in Iraq. In Light of this event, Erbil DOH further reinforces its earlier instructed to all camp managers to avoid any distribution of hot meals to IDPs.

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For more information, please contact:
- Ajyal Sultany, Communications Officer, +964 7510101469, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- Pauline Ajello, Communications Officer, +964 7510101460, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: WHO

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