going above and beyond
- Nov 17, 2006
In the Spirit of Sankofa and Peace and Love!
The plot thickens!
Cholera cases found in Haiti capital
Outbreak kills more than 200 in nation; officials fear spread quake-survivor camps
msnbc.com news services
ST. MARC, Haiti - Five cases of cholera have been detected in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, U.N. and Haitians officials said Saturday, raising concern over the spread of an epidemic that already has killed over 200 people and sickened 2,000.
"We have confirmed five cases in Port-au-Prince ... they were very quickly diagnosed and isolated," U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Imogen Wall told Reuters, citing information from Haitian health authorities. They were the first cases to be detected in the capital since the outbreak started.
Wall stressed the five patients had become infected in the main outbreak zone of Artibonite north of the capital and had subsequently traveled to the city where they fell ill.
"This is not a new location of infection," Wall said, adding surveillance had been increased in Port-au-Prince, where camps house 1.3 million survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake.
The cholera outbreak has been centered in the central Artibonite region, but at least five cases were confirmed also in Arcahaie, a town closer to the quake-devastated capital, Port-au-Prince. Another four cases were reported in Limbe, a small northern municipality.
Experts also were investigating possible cases in Croix-des-Bouquet, a suburb of the capital. Another 10 cases were reported in Gonaives, the largest city in the Artibonite, according to Partners in Health, a U.S.-based humanitarian group.
The sick include 50 inmates at a prison in Mirebalais, just north of Port-au-Prince, Health Ministry director Gabriel Thimothe said.
Officials were worried about the consequences for the capital.
"It will be very, very dangerous," said Claude Surena, president of the Haitian Medical Association. "Port-au-Prince already has more than 2.4 million people, and the way they are living is dangerous enough already. Clearly a lot more needs to be done."
The plot thickens!