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Thirteen Mental Patients Die Of Cholera

November 15, 1994

TIRANA, Albania (AP) _ Cholera has killed 13 patients in a mental hospital, bringing the total number of cholera deaths in Albania to 29.

About 300 other patients were infected with the disease in the psychiatric hospital in Elbasan, 35 miles southeast of Tirana, doctors said Tuesday. The facility was put under quarantine.

Cholera broke out three months ago in central Albania and later spread across the country, one of the poorest in Europe. Thousands have been hospitalized. Foreign assistance and emergency government measures have failed to control the disease’s spread.

Petraq Cama, an adviser to Health Minister Maksim Cikuli, said the minister and his deputy visited the hospital on Monday and sent medicine and other supplies. Doctors and specialists from Tirana were sent to Elbasan to help the local staff.

The Koha Jone newspaper quoted Lavdie Shqarri, the director of the psychiatric hospital, as saying that most of the patients who died were in such frail health they could not resist the disease.

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