Haitians suffer cholera outbreak amid squalid conditions
Yesterday, the United Nations dispatch blog reported a "mystery" illness killing people in Haiti. Today that mystery illness has been identified: cholera.
The water-borne disease has struck Artibonite, an area where many displaced people from Port au Prince relocated after the devastating earthquake.
The Associated Press reported that as of Friday morning 142 people have died and more than 1,000 infected people were hospitalized.
The outbreak has long been feared by relief groups, concerned for the refugees living in tarp-tent cities with poor sanitation and squalid conditions.
"This is what happens when people experience 'difficulties accessing safe drinking water.' It is not just dangerous in the abstract. It is deadly." Mark Leon Goldberg writes on the UN dispatch blog.
Haitian radio host Carel Pedre has been tweeting photographs from the main St. Marc hospital dealing with the outbreak.
Describing the tent shelters, Mother Jones' Mac McClelland wrote on Wednesday,
Daniel's shelter, like the rest, is several sheets of sturdy plastic cobbled together. The "ceiling" is uneven, low, and leaky. It's built on a steep dirt slope. Water comes in from all directions when it rains. And oh, how it rains.
If the outbreak spreads, officials fear it could unleash a public health disaster.
Posted by: Rudy7 | October 22, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse