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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cholera Spreads In North Korea

SEOUL -- North Korea has been hit by a cholera outbreak that has infected hundreds of malnourished soldiers and civilians, killing many of them, a South Korean intelligence agency reported Friday.

The Agency for National Security Planning quoted ethnic Korean travelers from China as saying the outbreak was centered on the west coast and in one northern province.

Pyongyang had launched vaccination and sterilization programs to prevent further spread of the water-borne disease that causes dehydration and severe diarrhea and can kill within hours if not treated promptly.

International relief organizations have warned that epidemics could sweep North Korea unless adequate food aid arrives. Old people and babies are most at risk.