Haiti Cholera Wave: Worst Is Yet to Come

Nov 15, 2010
Exec. Prod. of Franchises & Series. He previously reported for HuffPost, L.A. Daily Journal, and Biloxi Sun-Herald.
A child suffering from cholera receives treatment at St-Catherine hospital in Port-au-Prince. (Photo: Reuters)

The cholera outbreak sweeping across Haiti has claimed more than 900 lives and sickened at least 14,600 people, reported the country's Ministry of Health over the weekend.

Experts and aid groups say the worst is yet to come.

NGOs are rushing soap and clean water to the nation, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Lingering devastation from last January's massive earthquake and Haiti's historically poor sanitation infrastructure make the fight an uphill battle.

The epidemic has spread to six of the country's 10 provinces. Neighboring Dominican Republic is restricting movement across the border in an attempt to keep the disease from crossing.

Spread by feces-contaminated water, Cholera bacteria can cause death within a matter of hours due to severe diarrhea and the resulting dehydration. 

The U.N. has predicted that as many as 200,000 Haitians could contract cholera in the current epidemic, and the nation will need $163 million in the next year to combat the disease.

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