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Haiti’s cholera epidemic twice as bad as predicted, say researchers

March 16, 2011 Comments off

globalpost.com

Haiti cholera 2011 3 16 

A woman sits with her sick child at an International Red Cross field hospital for the treatment of cholera in Carrefour, Haiti, on Dec. 14, 2010. (Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images)

Haiti’s cholera epidemic may be twice as bad as health officials originally thought.

The number of people affected with the disease may be nearly 800,000, double what U.N. officials predicted, BBC reports.

The bacterial disease causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and can be life-threatening if left untreated as it can lead to severe dehydration. It is spread from person-to-person through contaminated food and water.

About 150,000 people contracted cholera and 3,500 died in Haiti between October and December 2010. U.N. health officials expected the number of infected at this time to be about 400,000. But researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, say the number is likely to be double that.

The new calculations take into consideration factors such as Read more…

Three Cases of Cholera Confirmed by New York City Officials

February 6, 2011 Comments off
By AL BAKER

The first known cases of cholera in New York since the outbreak of the disease in Haiti last year were confirmed on Saturday by city officials.

A commercial laboratory notified health officials on Friday that three New Yorkers had developed diarrhea and dehydration, classic symptoms of the disease, after returning from a wedding on Jan. 22 and 23 in the Dominican Republic, where the government has been trying to prevent the disease from spreading from neighboring Haiti.

The three who contracted cholera were adults who returned to the city within days of the wedding.

None were hospitalized. Dr. Sharon Balter, a medical epidemiologist for the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said on Saturday that the victims had all recovered.

Officials declined to release the names of the patients or where they lived.

City health officials are now working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to determine what the New York victims ate and to see if the strain of the disease they contracted is linked to the cholera epidemic that has ravaged Haiti, killing thousands since October and infecting many more.

“We’re providing support to the state, with lab testing, in determining which strain” is at issue, said Candice Burns Hoffmann, a spokeswoman for the C.D.C. “And I know there is an Read more…