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Haitian Cholera Death Toll Up To 330

Laura Cartanya, left, representing the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECI), supervises the unloading of humanitarian aid items for Haiti's fight against cholera at the international airport in Port-au-Prince, 27 Oct 2010

and outbreak remains concentrated in northern and central regions of country

Health officials in Haiti say the cholera epidemic has claimed 25 more lives, raising the death toll to 330 as the disease is reported closer to the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The Pan American Health Organization says Haiti's health ministry has confirmed just under 4,700 cases of cholera, and that the outbreak remains concentrated in the northern and central regions of the country.

The international aid group Save the Children says there have been cholera cases reported within 50 kilometers of the capital. In a statement Friday, the group warns that the disease poses a particular threat to more than 25,000 mothers with newborn babies living in the crowded, squalid temporary camps in Port-au-Prince.

Hundreds of thousands of survivors of January's massive earthquake are living in the camps.

The group says conditions within the camps would allow the disease to spread swiftly.

Save the Children says it is working with Haitian and U.N. health officials to distribute rehydration salts and sanitation materials to help stop the spread of the disease.

The dehydration salts are a simple oral treatment that has been shown to be effective in treating and preventing complications in 80 percent of cholera cases.

Aid groups have been distributing pamphlets and instructing residents of the tent cities on hygiene and cholera prevention. Cholera, a bacterial infection, is spread by ingesting contaminated food or water. The disease is treatable but can kill within hours without treatment.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.