Haiti Cholera Update #10

According to MSPP (Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population — PDF), as of 6 November 2010, there have been 544 deaths and 8138 hospital cases from cholera. Total deaths are divided between 309 hospital deaths and 235 deaths in the community. This represents a hospital mortality rate of 3.8%. Cholera promptly treated has a mortality rate of 1-2 % The total number of cases in the community is unknown. James Wilson at Haiti: Operation Biosurveillance estimates over 50, 000 persons have contracted the disease, either subclinically (75%) or actively (25%).  He writes: “Any claim of containment or control of this epidemic should be treated with skepticism.” People infected with Vibrio cholerae continue to shed pathogens for two weeks after initally contracted the disease.

Disturbingly, Wilson also reports, via Samaritan’s Purse, a cluster of 47 new cases of cholera in Cité Soleil.  Further outbreaks are noted in Gros Morne, Grand Bois, north and east of St-Marc respectively, and suspected cases in Mole St-Nicholas and St-Louis-du-Nord, both of which are in areas most directly affected by Hurricane Tomas.

Via HaitiLibre, yet more misery and an increased risk for contamination, a consequence of Tomas:

The Artibonite River, likely initial vector of cholera, may overflow. Already heavily loaded by the rains brought by the hurricane Tomas, and at the limit of the flood, the river Artibonite could get out of its bed during the day following the opening of the valves of a hydroelectric dam on the River.

United Nations representative said that the engineers were forced to open the valves of a dam on the river, whose level of the reservoir was too high, to allow water to escape and reduce the pressure on the structure.

It was asked the people living on the banks of the river infected with cholera to evacuate their families and livestock. The health situation is bad enough, but the overflow of contaminated river could contribute to spread the cholera and to worsen the situation considerably.

In the course of the day, the area should be flown to locate and assess potential flooding.

More resources:

Haiti: Operational Biosurveillance (Twitter)

H5N1

HaitiLibre (English) (français) (Twitter — English and French)

Mediahacker: Independent multimedia reporting from Haiti (Twitter)

Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (Homepage) (Cholera Updates) (in French)

PAHO’s Haiti Cholera page. (PAHO Situation Reports and other documentation.) (Blog.)

On the ground, good sources of information and of course needing donations:

Partners in Health (Twitter).

Médecins sans frontières

[Cross-posted at Sister Sage's Musings]

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  1. Haiti Cholera Update #10 « Sister Sage's Musings

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