In Benin cholera has killed five people in the past two weeks in a rare dry-season outbreak. Health officials detected the first cases of the diarrhoeal disease on Jan. 13 in the town of Bonou – 90km east of the economic capital Cotonou – where 66 cases and four deaths were recorded up to 29 January, according to the Health Ministry’s director of sanitation Laurent Assogba. Three cases, one resulting in death, have also been recorded in Cotonou, he said. Cholera generally spreads during the rainy season when flooding can contaminate water sources. The World Health Organization (WHO) says cholera in the dry season is uncommon but it does occur. In 2009 during the rainy season at least 70 people died of cholera in Benin, according to the Health Ministry. (IRIN)

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