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Cholera outbreak hits Malian refugee camp in Niger

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May 21, 2013 10:52 AM EST | AP


NIAMEY, Niger — The United Nations refugee agency said that they are working to contain a cholera outbreak in Niger in a refugee camp for people fleeing the conflict in Mali.

Melissa Fleming, the chief spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement on Tuesday that a total of seven people have died from cholera in recent weeks. They include two refugees who died in the Mangaize camp, currently housing 15,000 refugees in the Tillaberi region of Niger, located close to the Malian border.

On May 11, the government of Niger declared a cholera epidemic. Last year, a total of 110 people died throughout Niger.

This year's epidemic could be worse because of the concentration of refugees. Niger is currently housing some 50,000 Malian refugees, said the statement.