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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Seasonal Rains Bring Rise in Cholera Cases in Haiti

Via PBS Newshour :

" The months-long rainy season is just beginning in Haiti, boosting the number of cases of cholera just as critical sanitation services are in limbo.

Cholera is waterborne and often spreads through sewage, making it harder to contain in rainy, wet conditions. In the three weeks prior to the rains, the Partners in Health cholera center in Mirebalais, Haiti, saw 500 cases combined, but the weather has brought a new rise in cases.

"Since the rainy season began in the last two weeks, we've seen 1,000 cases," said David Walton, who runs the center.

While many of the new cases are less severe than the deadly wave that first hit the country last fall, Walton said the uptick could be an indicator of things to come.

"I worry that, given what I've seen, we could be overwhelmed again at the cholera centers," he said.

The country is seeing about 2,000 new cases of cholera a week, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, but a lack of funds for sanitation services could make the situation worse."

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