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16 November 2011

Typhoid outbreak amid Zimbabwe heatwave

Harare - Health authorities say 207 cases of typhoid are being treated in Zimbabwe's capital after a prolonged spell of unusually hot weather amid acute water shortages.

Harare city council health director Prosper Chonzi says no deaths have occurred so far in the month-long outbreak.

He said on Tuesday the disease will be difficult to contain in impoverished townships relying on water from shallow, makeshift wells and marshlands. Some haven't had access to piped water for months - or even years - amid the country's economic meltdown.

Chonzi says humanitarian agencies have been asked to help provide clean water.

A cholera outbreak in 2009 blamed on the collapse of water, sanitation and prevention services in Zimbabwe killed more than 4 000 people.

- AP