WAMENA, Indonesia – A cholera outbreak in Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua has killed 151 people in the last month and sickened another 3,200, a health ministry spokesman said Friday.
"The latest report we received today shows that the death toll has reached 151," said Sumardi, who like many Indonesians, uses a single name.
He said at least 3,200 people have been affected by the disease since early last month.
Berry Wopari, chief of the health office in the district's capital, Wamena, confirmed the new death toll and blamed contaminated drinking water and lack of awareness for the spread of the disease in the region, about 2,050 miles east of the capital, Jakarta.
Wopari said that more than a dozen health centers have been set up to cope with the outbreak, and that the situation was already under control.
Papua, one of Indonesia's most remote regions both geographically and politically, is the scene of a decades-long separatist rebellion during which an estimated 100,000 have died — many through starvation or disease.
Foreigner have restricted access to the area, and it was not immediately possible to verify the health officials' claims.
Cholera is transmitted through contaminated water and is linked to poor hygiene, overcrowding and bad sanitation. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting, which can kill unless treated quickly.