Two hospitals in southern Iraq have reported 17 confirmed cases of cholera in Basra, and the World Health Organization said Wednesday it fears far more have gone unreported.
..."An outbreak of cholera, affecting probably several hundreds of people, is occurring," said WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib.
The first confirmed cases in Basra turned up in children age 4 and under. Tests were done by the Al-Tahir Teaching Hospital and Basra Maternal and Child Hospital.
...Health officials said they feared the disease is already epidemic.
With 17 confirmed cases, "you can expect 10 times more within the larger population," said Dr. Denis Coulombier, a WHO epidemiologist....