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Dysentery Will Boost Deaths, Official Predicts

<i> Times Wire Services</i>

As dysentery steals cholera’s grim title as the most widespread affliction in Goma’s refugee camps, one relief official Tuesday predicted the almost unimaginable--an upsurge in deaths.

Children will be hardest hit, she said, by the deadly dysentery spreading among the more than 1 million Rwandans jammed into camps along Zaire’s eastern border.

“Dysentery has overtaken cholera” as the main disease afflicting refugees, said Samantha Bolton of the relief group Doctors Without Borders.

Cholera and dysentery are both spread by fecal contamination of food and water. Cholera is treated with an infusion of liquids and minerals to replace those lost through vomiting and diarrhea. Dysentery requires five days of costly antibiotics.

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