The Cholera Outbreak In Haiti


A cholera outbreak has hit Haiti, killing at least 284 people and making nearly 3,769 sick. Though the outbreak is being stabilized the reported number of those affected is likely an under count because 75% of those infected will show no symptoms. Those infected, though asymptomatic, can still spread the infection to others.

There are also fears the 1.3 million survivors still in the close quarters of temporary camps may accelerate the outbreak, though those persons are receiving aid as part of relief and reconstruction efforts. Some believe it’s more likely the outbreak may spread in the slum areas of Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital, where 5 cases have already been reported. Persons with lowered immunity like malnourished children and those with HIV are at greater risk.

According to the UN the outbreak is linked to water from the Saint-Marc River, which has become contaminated. Sadly, many seeking to stop the spread of the disease drank “treated” water they purchased that may not have been safe to drink.

A public health campaign is under way, educating people about boiling water, possibly piping in water and disinfecting water with chlorine.

The rest of the Caribbean is also taking precautions and are on cholera alert.

Nigeria is also experiencing a cholera epidemic. According to the United Nations more than 1,500 people have been killed. Read more about that in Cholera kills 1,555 in Nigeria, says U.N.

Src: Caribbean countries on cholera alert

Further Reading: Cholera clinic sparks Haiti protest

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