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BEIRA, Mozambique — Mozambicans lined up Wednesday to get cholera vaccines in the cyclone-hit city of Beira at the start of a drive to inoculate nearly 900,000 storm survivors as part of efforts contain an outbreak of the deadly disease.

Beira’s Mayor Daviz Simango was among those who swallowed the oral vaccine Wednesday and then had their fingers marked to show that they have been immunized.

The Indian Ocean port of Beira, a city of 500,000, is where most of the more than 1,400 cases of cholera have been reported since the outbreak was declared a week ago.

Mozambican authorities have reported two deaths so far from the acute diarrheal disease, which can kill within hours if not properly treated.

Cases also have been confirmed in some outlying communities and vaccinations will begin there today. Overall the campaign aims to vaccinate some 884,000 people in Beira, Dondo, Nhamatanda and Buzi.

More than 100,000 survivors of Cyclone Idai are still living in displacement camps with little access to clean water or sanitation, and the World Health Organization has warned of a “second disaster” if waterborne diseases such as cholera and malaria spread.

Already the number of cholera cases is more than double the 500 beds set up for patients in Beira that is the center of relief efforts for central Mozambique.

Cholera was first reported in one of the city’s poorest and most crowded neighborhoods, Munhava. As authorities hurried to repair the city’s damaged water system, aid organizations reported that some people had resorted to drinking stagnant water or from contaminated wells.

Print Headline: Anti-cholera drive on in Mozambique

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