Haiti - Health : Alex Larsen confirmed a cholera strain "O1" - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Health : Alex Larsen confirmed a cholera strain "O1"
22/10/2010 12:59:22

Haiti - Health : Alex Larsen confirmed a cholera strain
Haiti's Minister of Health Alex Larsen confirmed this morning that it was a strain "O1" of cholera, the cause of most outbreaks of disease worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO said this morning not to confirm the presence of cholera, pending the results of its own tests before confirming the presence of cholera in northern Haiti and for the moment always evokes an "outbreak of diarrhea" and an assessment of 150 dead and more than 1,500 people infected.

"It is the highest alert, we must remain alert round the clock to help the government cope with this situation" said Dr. Claude Surena, president of the Haitian Medical Association, asking private hospitals to accept patients and provide care as quickly as possible.

The authorities are concerned about the risk of spread within the IDP camps where living hundreds of thousands of people, because of population mobility.

Charles Henri Baker was yesterday at the Hopital Saint-Nicolas in Saint-Marc said this morning that the outbreak "spreading to different areas of the country, among them la Gonave, Plateau Central and Carries"

The independent candidate Dr. Josette Bijou made know yesterday "after contacting the people of Plateau Central and Artibonite, we are very concerned about this new disease which has very strong resemblance to an outbreak of Cholera. We ask the government to act quickly declare a state of emergency to allow health officials to conduct the necessary actions"

Leslie Voltaire said in a statement a few minutes ago "We learn with great sadness the tragic news that hits Haiti with the cholera epidemic in Artibonite. We hope all measures will be implemented to halt the progression of this disease. Ansamn Nou Fo is at the disposal to contribute to the efforts to provide information to the population".

Mirlande Manigat declared this morning "My heart goes out to my Haitian sisters & brothers affected by the cholera outbreak. Please pray for them & provide some support if you can".

Learn more about cholera:
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Every year, there are an estimated 3–5 million cholera cases and 100 000–120 000 deaths due to cholera. The short incubation period of two hours to five days, enhances the potentially explosive pattern of outbreaks.

In 1961, a strain O1 of a new "biovar Eltor", from Celebes islands, emerged and caused the 7th pandemic, which reached in 1961, Africa and Latin America in 1991. Cholera has installed endemic in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 1992 a new epidemic strain was unknown until then in charge of a serious outbreak of cholera in India and Bangladesh. This strain was related to "biovar Eltor" and presented a new serotype called O139.

The transmission is by waterand inter-human: polluted water, contaminated seafood, fruits and vegetables sprinkled, hands dirty (toilet and transport of corpses, meals). There is no natural immunity, no production of antibodies against the toxin. Contributing factors are human and conditions: poverty, low levels of health, armed conflict, high population density (refugee camps), natural disasters (cyclones, floods), warmer waters.

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