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Serious Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

22 October 2010 158 views No Comment

By Atkilt Geleta

Reports out of Haiti have confirmed that a minimum of 138 people have died due to an outbreak of cholera.

Dr. Michael Thieren of the Pan American Health Organization has confirmed that it is an epidemic, adding that it was impossible to say whether the crisis had reached its peak.  So far 1,526 have been affected, with 138 dead.

The main outbreak area is just north of Port-au-Prince, but the government and its partners fear the disease may spread to quake survivors stationed at relief camps in the capital.

Cholera is an infection of the intestines that causes severe acute diarrhea and dehydration.  Transmission is usually through contaminated water and food and is unlikely to be from person to person.  The most typical source of transmission is untreated diarrhea discharge from cholera sufferers that makes is way into drinking water supplies and waterways.

Health Minister Alex Larsen has announced an emergency prevention program to address the threat of the disease spreading to the 1.5 million earthquake victims stationed in tents and tarpaulins in Port-au-Prince.

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