Iran General NewsCases of cholera detected in Iran: health minister

Cases of cholera detected in Iran: health minister

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AFP: A number of cholera cases have been detected in Iran, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi said on Wednesday, blaming “foreigners” and contaminated vegetables for the outbreak.

TEHRAN, September 7, 2011 (AFP) – A number of cholera cases have been detected in Iran, Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi said on Wednesday, blaming “foreigners” and contaminated vegetables for the outbreak.

“In recent days, due to the illegal entry of foreigners in Iran, cholera appeared in parts of the country,” Vahid Dastjerdi was quoted as saying by the government information website dolat.ir.

“The ministry investigating the issue found that these cases are linked to contaminated vegetables and the illegal entry of foreigners,” she said, urging people to “thoroughly wash vegetables, use only tap water and do not buy food from street vendors.”

The minister did not elaborate on how many cases have been identified or in which regions of Iran they were detected.

Local health authorities have acknowledged cases of “severe diarrhea” in recent days in several towns west of Tehran, but denied that they were cholera.

Vahid Dastjerdi did give further details on the “illegal foreigners.”

Iran hosts about 2.5 million Afghan refugees, many hundreds of thousands of whom have illegally entered the Islamic republic, according to official estimates.

A small number of illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh are also living in Iran.

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