Lebanon warned Wednesday a cholera outbreak that has left five dead is “spreading rapidly” in the cash-strapped country, with cases rising after the extremely virulent disease spread from neighbouring Syria. Lebanon’s first cholera outbreak in decades began earlier this month as it struggles amid poor sanitation and crumbling infrastructure after three years of unprecedented economic crisis. “The epidemic is spreading rapidly in Lebanon,” Health Minister Firass Abiad told reporters. Since October 6, Lebanon has recorded 169 cholera cases — almost half of them in the past two days — as well as five deaths, according to the health ministry. It comes just weeks after an outbreak in Syria, where more than a decade of war has damaged nearly two-thirds of water treatment plants, half of pumping stations and one-third of water towers, according to the United Nations.