News / Americas

US Health Experts Warn Haiti Could Face Repeated Cholera Outbreaks

A boy suffering cholera symptoms is carried by a relative to St. Catherine hospital in Cite Soleil slum in Port-au-Prince, 18 Nov 2010
A boy suffering cholera symptoms is carried by a relative to St. Catherine hospital in Cite Soleil slum in Port-au-Prince, 18 Nov 2010


U.S. health experts say Haiti's cholera epidemic could easily get worse, warning the country could face long-term problems with the disease and repeated outbreaks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday in a report that the course of the current outbreak is difficult to predict. The report said the Haitian population has no preexisting immunity to cholera and said environmental conditions in Haiti are favorable for its continued spread.

Haiti's health ministry says cholera has already killed more than 1,100 people since the outbreak was first reported late last month. Nearly 18,400 people have been hospitalized.

The European Union's humanitarian aid commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, urged member states Thursday to help Haiti fight the epidemic by sending the country supplies, not just money. Georgieva said Haiti has an urgent need for supplies, including medication and water purification tablets.

Some Haitians accuse U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal of bringing the waterborne disease to the Caribbean nation. Violent riots broke out this week, with demonstrators burning cars and tires and attacking U.N. bases.

Two protesters were killed Monday in clashes with U.N. troops, while a third demonstrator died Wednesday.

Haitian President Rene Preval and U.N. officials have called for an end to the violence, saying it will only hamper aid efforts.

The U.N. says it has been forced to cancel flights carrying aid supplies because of security concerns in Cap Haitien and Port de Paix.  Roadblocks and other problems caused by the protests also have affected people's ability to get to the hospital, and have forced the suspension of a water cleaning project and training of medical staff.

Meanwhile, former U.S. president Bill Clinton's foundation announced Wednesday it has committed $1.5 million in response to the cholera outbreak.  The foundation says it is committing $1 million in immediate assistance to train 10,000 community health workers across Haiti.  It also says it will support a long-term cholera education and awareness campaign.  

CHOLERA PREVENTION & SYMPTOMS

Watch Out For:

  • Profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, leg cramps *Without treatment you could die within a few hours time

    Prevent Getting Infected By:
  • Drinking bottled water (avoid ice)
  • Washing hands often with soap and water

    Using latrines or burying feces (avoid defecating in or near water sources)

    Cooking food well (making sure food is hot, peel fruits, vegetables, avoid raw foods)

    Cleaning kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms at least 30 meters away from water sources

    *Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health officials in the Dominican Republic and the United States say they have identified cases of cholera in their nations. The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, reported one case of the disease in a Haitian man who is receiving treatment.  Authorities in the southern U.S. state of Florida say they have also confirmed a case in a woman who visited Haiti near where the outbreak began.  Officials say they are investigating other possible cases in Florida.

Health workers fear an explosion of the disease in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, where hundreds of thousands of people have been living in crowded, squalid tent cities since the January earthquake that devastated the country.

Cholera is spread through fecal-contaminated food and water.  It causes vomiting and diarrhea, and can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death.  Hospitals and clinics in Haiti are now struggling to treat a growing number of people suffering from diarrhea and dehydration.  The World Health Organization says the bacteria that causes the disease will be in Haiti for years.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs

More Americas News

3 Mexican Journalists Assassinated in Week

Rights groups call on Mexican authorities to thoroughly investigate recent murders in Oaxaca, Veracruz and Guanajuato
More

Ecuador Is Prime Example at Heart of Pope's Climate Stance

Pope Francis begins his South America tour this weekend in country that is prime example of tensions between politics, business and environment
More

Experts: US-Cuba Moves Likely to Deepen N Korea’s Isolation

Korea University professor sees US-Cuba normalization as 'quite an ideological eye-opener' for Pyongyang, a longtime Havana ally
More

Pope to Tour 3 South American Countries

Grueling, week-long trip will showcase Francis at his unpredictable best: speaking his native Spanish on his home turf about issues closest to his heart
More

Congress Aims to Keep Bans on Dealing with Cuban Military

Proposed legislation would ban Americans from engaging in any financial transactions with the Cuban military or the Cuban Ministry of the Interior
More

Video Rapprochement Opens New, Uncertain Chapter in US-Cuba Relations

Change is result of months of secret negotiations that culminated in December with decision to resume ties, but critics say nothing has changed in Cuba’s human rights record
More