The death toll from the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe is approaching 3 000 and within reach of the worst case scenario of 60 000 cases, the World Health Organisation said.
The outbreak, which started in August, has killed 2 971 people and infected 56 123 others, according to the latest figures gathered by the WHO released Tuesday.
The previous count issued on Friday recorded 2 773 deaths with more than 50 000 cases of infection and the WHO said its expected the waterborne disease to advance further.
One of the worst outbreaks
"It's one of the worst and largest outbreaks of cholera," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told AFP.
"The situation of cholera is not under control, it's even out of control, and it will remain so for the near future. We're seeing the worst case scenario of 60 000 within reach," she added.
The numbers are expected to grow with the onset of the rainy season in Zimbabwe.
Half of Zim population at risk
The UN's health agency estimates that about half of Zimbabwe's population of about 12 million are at risk from cholera because of poor living conditions.
The worst case scenario for health experts involves 1% of a vulnerable population being infected, in Zimbabwe's case about 60 000 people, Chaib explained. – (Sapa)