DEVASTATING

Cholera Epidemic Hits Somalia

In another piece of devastating news from Somalia, United Nations officials said Friday that the country is facing a cholera epidemic, with 181 confirmed deaths from the disease in Mogadishu, and several other confirmed outbreaks in the country. Officials from the U.N. World Health Organization said the epidemic has spread so quickly because so much of the population is mobile. Sections of the southern part of the country have been gripped by a famine that has already killed an estimated 29,000 children. More than 100,000 people have fled the south and settled in makeshift camps in Mogadishu, the capital city that is ruled by a transitional government. Cholera, spread through dirty water, is easily treated by oral rehydration salts and antibiotics, but many health centers in Somalia lack these basic supplies.