Cholera Cases on the Rise in Haiti
Staggering 77 news cases a day across the country
The cholera outbreak in Haiti is on the rise, with 77 new cases a day recorded for the whole country in early March, health officials said Tuesday.
The U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a monthly bulletin that the new cholera cases were found in the western and northern parts of the country. The jump in cases comes after health officials reported a steady decline since June of last year.
To date, cholera — a bacteria found in contaminated water or food, and can kill people within hours through dehydration — has killed more than 7,000 people and sickened another 530,000 since it’s outbreak ten months after the catastrophic earthquake of 2010 that killed over 200,000 people and displaced over 1 million.
It is now the largest cholera outbreak in the world.
Health officials are especially concerned during these rainy seasonal months. Medical teams have been deployed to stem the spread of cholera but their effectiveness has been hampered in part by little coordination and an absence of salaries paid to people working in cholera treatment centers run by Haitian authorities, the U.N. bulletin said.
The United States Government has spent over $75 million on improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, establishing and running cholera treatment centers and training Haitian health care workers in prevention and treatment of cholera, according to the CDC. But the U.N. projects that Haiti will have ongoing cholera outbreaks for years to come.