Container contamination as a possible source of a diarrhoea outbreak in Abou Shouk camp, Darfur province, Sudan

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Diarrhoea is one of the five major causes of death in an emergency setting and one of the three main causes of death in children (Curtis and Cairncross, 2003). In June 2004, an outbreak of shigellosis was confirmed in Abou Shouk camp in the Northern Darfur province of Sudan. As water testing showed no contamination, it was assumed that post-collection contamination was happening. The decision was taken to launch a programme of mass disinfection of all water containers in order to break the contamination cycle.