Cholera, caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water, has infected more than 13,000 people in Syria since the beginning of September, according to an aid organization.
A cholera outbreak has infected thousands of people in Syria, nonprofit group Caritas International said Wednesday.
The relief organization, based in Germany, said at least 13,059 people have been infected in Syria so far, with 60 having officially died as a result of diarrhea and vomiting.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by bacteria found in contaminated water. The disease affects millions worldwide every year.
The Syrian war, which began in 2011, has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. It has become one of the bloodiest and most complex conflicts to have lasted more than a decade.
Why is the disease spreading now?
Caritas said that some 13 million people in Syria don't have access to clean water and sanitation, with the situation in refugee camps being particularly dire since sanitation systems were destroyed during the war.
Cholera turns deadly if the person is left dehydrated, and its emergence is a "clear symptom of the disastrous development in the country," Christoph Klitsch-Ott, head of the Middle East Division at Caritas Germany, said.
He said the outbreak of cholera was also highly unusual in the Middle East and Syria.
Poverty and poor hygienic conditions meant that more people would be vulnerable to the disease throughout the Middle East, in spite of people taking swift action to decrease infection rates, Klitsch-Ott said.