The World Health Organization (WHO) is launching a campaign to vaccinate 255,000 people against cholera in Iraq over the next month, in a bid to contain the country's first major cholera outbreak since 2012, the U.N. agency said.
The WHO said the first doses of the vaccine are expected to be administered in the next few days in response to the outbreak which has infected 2,055 people since mid-September.
The illness, first detected in Baghdad's western outskirts, has spread throughout the country, mainly affecting Iraqis who have been forced from their homes and Syrian refugees.
The WHO said cholera has killed two people so far, although the Iraqi health ministry said last week it has caused six deaths.
Cholera is spread mainly through contaminated water and food and, if untreated, can lead to death by dehydration and kidney failure within hours.
The cholera vaccine is given in two doses.
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