Washington (AFP) Nov 9, 2010
The Haitian authorities have recorded more than 70 cholera cases in the capital Port-au-Prince, where officials fear a massive escalation if the epidemic takes hold, a UN health body said Tuesday.
"As of yesterday, the Ministry of Health was reporting more than 9,100 hospitalized cases and some 583 deaths in some 240 communities," Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) deputy director Jon Andrus told reporters.
"These include 73 cases reported in Port-au-Prince. We expect these numbers to continue to rise as more cases are detected," Andrus told a press conference in Washington.
The top health official also noted that while Haiti had been spared the worst by Hurricane Tomas last weekend, the storm had pushed rivers over their banks very likely aggravating the health crisis.
"We have every reason to expect that the widespread flooding has increased the risk of cholera spreading. The effects of this could become apparent through an upsurge of cases over the coming days," he said.
The PAHO, a regional office of the UN's World Health Organization, gave a stark assessment of the situation going forward in Haiti based on the model of a massive Peruvian cholera outbreak in 1991.
"Extrapolating from Peru's experience, one might expect upwards of 270,000 cases if Haiti's epidemic continues for several years, as did Peru's," Andrus said.
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Cholera outbreak surges, reaches slum in Haitian capital
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Nov 9, 2010
Haitian officials Tuesday confirmed the first death from cholera in the ruined capital as the number of sick surged amid fears the outbreak will spread to the city's teeming refugee camps. One person was said to have died in the sprawling Cite Soleil slum, badly hit in the January earthquake which left 1.3 million people homeless in the impoverished Caribbean nation of some 10 million people ... read more
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