Two young children do chores in a village on the outskirts of Burundi's capital Bujumbura. File picture: Sam Mednick/AP

Johannesburg – Unhygienic bars and restaurants in the Burundian capital Bujumbura have been closed down following a cholera outbreak, the mayor of the city confirmed in a statement.

The BBC reported that so far 126 people have been infected by the acute diarrhoeal infection, which is caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.

In severe cases, the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

“There are public areas in Bujumbura like bars and restaurants that lack hygiene, that’s why we have four or five new cases every day,” Mayor Freddy Mbonimpa said.

The establishments closed included those operating in markets and near the roads that were found to have poor hygiene standards, he said.

The East African country is also battling malaria with more than 1,800 people dying of the disease this year, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In its latest situation report, OCHA said 5.7 million cases of malaria had been recorded in Burundi in 2019 — a figure roughly equal to half its entire population.

Of those cases, a total of 1,801 died from the mosquito-born disease between January 1 and July 21, OCHA said.

African News Agency (ANA)