Can Baghdad contain Diseases in Liberated Areas?

Obeidi also warned of Baghdad buttons spreading to the rest of his province's cities in the absence of mobile medical teams to provide vaccines and treatment.

Meanwhile, Azzawi called on the local government and the relevant departments to put an end to this epidemic and find a solution for the increased risk of infection.

Asmaa Osama, head of the health committee in Anbar provincial council, said 50 people from Anbar province suffered similar skin rashes. "This disease is mostly spread in al-Qaim and Rawa, where military operations continued for longer periods than other areas, namely Jabba, Mourawniya, Baraziya, the eastern outskirts of Baghdad and areas of Hit near Baghdad in the western part of Anbar province."

Osama told Al-Monitor, "The disease proliferated with pollution and stray dogs that feed on corpses, in addition to remnants of munitions used in military operations," adding, "The local government in Anbar seeks to lead a major campaign to combat the disease, but only after obtaining security approvals to enter the liberated areas."

According to information obtained by Al-Monitor, the scope of infection is not only limited to Diyala and Anbar, but also extends to the province of Ninevah.

The assistant director of health in Ninevah, Dr. Oss Hamdani, noted the alarming spread of Baghdad buttons, saying, "The cases we see are facts that cannot be hidden."

"Until now, we have no accurate statistics on the number of infected people. Our cadres are currently busy providing treatments and we will conduct a field survey to get accurate numbers soon," he told Al-Monitor.

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