Haiti - Cholera Epidemic : Latest assessment, 1.3 people infected and confirmed each minute - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7
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Haiti - Cholera Epidemic : Latest assessment, 1.3 people infected and confirmed each minute
23/11/2010 15:47:21

Haiti - Cholera Epidemic : Latest assessment, 1.3 people infected and confirmed each minute
Cholera is an acute diarrheal disease caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The short incubation period of 2 hours to 7 days, reinforces the dynamics of potentially explosive epidemics. This is the great disease "dirty hands", the neglect of the sanitation and food chain. Bowel movements that lead to human cultivation of citrus land, water sources, by the sea and its products (the vibrio can survive over 15 days in salt water) … All of which can be amplified by the carriage by flies, and especially by the direct inter-human contacts. Vibrio can survive over 15 days in salt water.

About 75% of infected by V. choleraehave no symptoms, although the bacterium is present in their faeces for 7-14 days after infection and are eliminated in the environment, where they can potentially infect other people.

For those who develop symptoms, they remain mild to moderate in 80% of cases, while in approximately 20% of cases, acute watery diarrhea, accompanied by severe dehydration develops. Without treatment, it can cause death.

Contrary to what is affirmed by certain media, Haiti already had cases of cholera in the Sixties. Haiti has not experienced an outbreak of cholera, for 100 years, what is different, it is important to restore the facts. Carleen Dei, director of the Haiti mission of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), told the station WAMU it was difficult to diagnose the disease in the early of the epidemic "When the source of infection broke out, people do not know what it was. There no had been case of cholera in Haiti since 50 or 60 years. So it was somewhat difficult to diagnose. And many people have died because they did not know they were very sick or what they suffered. And cholera can kill within two hours".

Stefano Zanini, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in Haiti reports in an interview "Cholera is a disease almost unknown in this country where the last cases were reported 60 years ago. The fact that the disease is unknown means that the local medical staff was not prepared to deal with, like the people who do not know the dangers, so much so that cholera was considered as a myth".

Assessment at the national level:
The latest assessment (cumulative) dated of Saturday, November 20, 2010 and published today Tuesday by the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) reported 25.248 hospitalization since the beginning of the epidemic, either 1.871 additional cases moreover of the last official assessment of November 19 (+8%) and 1.415 deaths either 71 new additional deaths (+5.28%).

Port au Prince and metropolitan area:
In Port-au-Prince and metropolitan area, (Port-au-Prince: Carrefour, Cité Soleil, Delmas, Kenscoff, Pétion-Ville, Port-au-Prince, Tabarre and Croix des Bouquets) it reported 2.140 hospitalization since the first reported case in this area, either 522 cases moreover of the last assessment (Nov.19) (+32.26%) and 95 deaths, either 18 new additional deaths (+23,37%).

Many humanitarian believe that official figures are underestimate, information in our position, confirms. The victims in isolated communities are little or no reported. Mortality rates in the Northeast (18.8% +4.8%), Southeast (9.9% +0.4%) and Southeast (13.3% -4.9%) remain the highest in the country (including mortality Deaths in hospital and community). Between November 19 and 20 (24 hours) 1.3 Person per minute have been infected and confirmed as suffering from cholera at the national level during this period

Note (1): Comparisons are made between the assessments of November 19 and 20, 2010 (24 hours). Official figures incorporate data submitted by departments to the Department of Epidemiology and now include the cases reported by NGOs and the Cuban medical mission.

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