Health & Fitness Journal —
A deadly cholera resurgence in Haiti has so far claimed 136 lives, according to the Caribbean nation’s Department of Health.
According to the Haitian Ministry of Health, 89 of those infected died in a hospital or in cholera treatment centers, while 47 of them died at home.
The Haitian government is working with international health organizations to respond to the crisis.
“We’ve been receiving 250 people a day lately. There is a surge in cases in most parts of the metropolitan area. This is of great concern to us as we have limited capacity with around 350 beds in our cholera treatment centers,” Alexandre Marcou, communications officer at medical NGO Médecins Sans Frontières, told Health & Fitness Journal on Wednesday.
People living in areas with a lack of safe drinking water or inadequate sanitation are vulnerable to cholera, which can result from eating food or water contaminated with bacteria.
Although vaccines exist and symptoms can be “easily treated,” according to the World Health Organization, cholera remains an insidious killer by dehydration in the developing world.
Just a month ago, the Ministry of Health had documented just eight cholera deaths, all in the densely populated capital, Port-au-Prince.
According to Marcou, the virus is now spreading to remote areas of the country that are difficult for health services to access and monitor.
“In these places, because of the current crisis, it is more difficult to know what is going on in real time. It is clear that the situation is getting worse and worse every day,” he said.
By this year, the disease appeared to have been largely driven out of the country after nationwide public health efforts.
The most recent outbreak began in 2010 when cholera spread from a United Nations peacekeeping camp to the general population.
This outbreak eventually reached 800,000 cases and claimed at least 10,000 lives. Although the United Nations has acknowledged its involvement in the outbreak, it has not accepted legal responsibility. Human rights organizations have not stopped demanding financial compensation for the victims.