The number of cholera cases in Souther Italy continued to rise on Monday (September 3) in the epidemic which has already claimed 14 lives.
The number of cholera cases in Souther Italy continued to rise on Monday (September 3) in the epidemic which has already claimed 14 lives. And over the weekend the outbreak spread to Rome. An 88-year-old man died from the disease there after eating infected sea food from the south.
Nine of the deaths have been in Naples where cholera was first diagnosed on August 23 and the other four victims were in the Adriatic port of Bari 150 miles (250 kms) is the east.
Latest official figures show 73 conformed cases of cholera in the Naples area and 40 at Bari. There were 301 people in Cotungo the main cholera hospital in Naples - but 191 have been pronounced free of cholera.
By Sunday night (September 2) one million of Naples' 2,500,000 population had been vaccinated but there were still queues outside vaccination centres. Police have been watching the crowds following riots on Saturday (September 1) when crowds thousands strong smashed windows at one vaccination centre and rioted outside many of the other 16 after rumours that vaccine rushed in by the Government was about to run out.
Streets and cars were being sprayed with disinfectant and efforts are being made to remove rubbish from the streets of a city which has the reputation of being the dirtiest in Italy.
Naples, with at least 50,000 of its inhabitants living in squalid wood and corrugated iron shacks in the old city slums, also has the highest infant mortality rate in Western Europe.
Local authorities admit that sanitary conditions in the whole Bay of naples are little short of catastrophic. The city sewerage system dates from 1896 and was built to serve the needs of a city a quarter its present size.
There has also been criticism of the health authorities' "slowness and inefficiency," in dealing with the outbreak. The Italian Health Ministry has admitted it was not officially advised of the first case until five days after the initial diagnosis.
Swimming in the Bay of Naples has been banned as has the selling of seafoods which are suspected of being responsible for at least some of the cases. Tourists or seamen coming from Tunisia which had an outbreak this month are also suspected.
SYNOPSIS: In Southern Italy the number of cholera cases continues to rise. Nine people have died in Naples and five elsewhere in Italy. One million people have been vaccinated in Naples but thousands more queue at special vaccination centres.
On Sunday Italian police kept a close watch on the orderly queues. The previous day there had been riots when crowds, thousands strong smashed windows at one centre. Riots too at many of the other centres after rumours that the vaccine rushed in by the Government was running out.
Official figures show seventy-three confirmed cases in Naples and more than forty at the port of Bari on the Adriatic coast where four have died. And now the cholera has spread to Rome. An eighty-eight-year-old man died there of cholera after eating infected seafood from the Bari area.
The Government say the entire population of Naples will be vaccinated by Thursday.
To try to halt the epidemic, streets and cars are being sprayed with disinfectant and swimming has been banned in the bay of naples. For mussels and clams bred in the sea near sewerage outlets have been blamed for many of the cases.
The Italian Health Minster Luigi Gui said on Saturday the disease was on the wane. But now thirteen nations are demanding vaccination certificates from Italians travelling abroad.
Great efforts are being made to clean up the streets of a city reputed to be the dirtiest in Italy. Naples has also the highest infant mortality in Western Europe and thousands live n wood and corrugated shacks in the slums of the old town. The city sewerage system was built in 1896 to serve the needs of a city a quarter its present size.
Relatives wait outside this hospital while others pray to the city's Saints for the epidemic to end.