Varying reports of the recent cholera outbreak in Haiti are all providing differing accounts of victims and those affected, but here’s what we know: it’s happening and it’s serious.
On October 22, NPR reported that the illness has claimed 160 lives so far, and 2,000 cases of the disease have been reported in Haitian health facilities.
However, CNN recently reported that the death toll has climbed to 194 with an additional 300 reported cases. The numbers continue to climb each day.
Cholera is an intestinal infection that can cause severe dehydration and can possibly be fatal if it’s not treated quickly. Its primary cause is ingestion of contaminated food or water.
Since Haiti’s devastating earthquake in January, there are still thousands of Haitians living in camps around Port-au-Prince. The living conditions of the overcrowded camps are unsanitary, making them easy targets for the outbreak of a cholera epidemic if it continues to spread rapidly.
Talk emerged from the U.S. Center of Disease Control about sending a small team to Haiti in an effort to help containment and treatment of the disease.
In the meantime, the Haitian people are falling sick quickly and panicking. Several experts have said it was only a matter of time before a crisis like this occurred since progress in Haiti seems to have slowed since initial relief efforts began. Now, according to NPR, “one of the worst fears in the aftermath of Haiti’s January earthquake is being realized.”
Sources: CNN and NPR