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HAGÅTÑA, Guam (June 30, 2000 – Honolulu Advertiser)---A cholera outbreak in the Federated States of Micronesia has claimed nine lives and sickened more than 1,000 others as officials continued to educate the public about the importance of personal hygiene.

The outbreak that began in April has been confined to Pohnpei state, where some 33,000 people live.

In addition to the dead, 377 people have been hospitalized, while 1,183 others are being treated on an outpatient basis at clinics and rural dispensaries, said Dr. Jeff Benjamin, acting secretary of the FSM’s Department of Health, Education and Social Services.

The disease is spread through the consumption of contaminated food and water. Officials have notice a sharp increase in the number of cholera cases about three days after large funerals, where traditional foods are served, said Ann Wright, deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy.

For additional reports from The Honolulu Advertiser, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Honolulu Advertiser.

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