80 sickened by contaminated water in a week in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor

DEIR EZ-ZOR, Syria (North Press) – The Health Center in the town of al-Baghouz, 130 kilometers east of Deir ez-Zor, east Syria, has documented more than 80 cases of waterborne illness since Saturday, due to the contaminated water due to low level of the Euphrates River.

Co-chair of the Health Center in the town Hamoud al-Massoud said that there are cases of the illness among all ages, but it mostly affects children.

Al-Massoud attributed the increase of waterborne illness cases to the contaminated drinking water due to the sharp decline of the level of the Euphrates River, which in return increased the level of salt in the water.

Al-Massoud explained that the rapid spread of skin diseases and waterborne illness happened because the riverbed has turned to a swamp.

“What increases the suffering of people is the presence of only one health center in the town, which is far from the rest of the areas,” he pointed out.

On June 20, a pediatrician in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor said he received cases of poisoning and diarrhea amid increasing temperatures and contamination of the Euphrates River water due to its low level after Turkey has seized the amount flowing to the Syrian territories.

Since February, Turkey has been limiting the flow of the Euphrates into Syria, depriving large numbers of people of usable water. Turkey reduced the flow of water from the Euphrates River into northeast Syria’s dam gradually, reducing the amount of water received to unprecedented lows.

Reporting by Anwar al-Midan