UN says cholera death toll in Zimbabwe reaches 978

GENEVA (AP) -- The United Nations says the death toll from a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has risen to 978 -- an increase of nearly 25 percent in three days.

The U.N. humanitarian office says the total number of suspected cases reported in the southern African country has risen to 18,413 since the start of the outbreak in August.

The figures reported Monday by the World Health Organizations were up from the 792 deaths and 16,700 cases reported Friday. The World Health Organization has said the total number of cases could reach 60,000 unless the epidemic is stopped.

Cholera has spread in Zimbabwe because of the deterioration of the country's health care and water supply systems.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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