CDC: Cholera has spread throughout Haiti

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Ron Lin, of the Los Angeles Times, reports that cholera has spread throughout Haiti, according to CDC officials speaking to the CDC-AHCJ Health Journalism Fellows in Atlanta yesterday.

The disease, caused by a bacteria that spreads through tainted drinking water, also is turning up in the Dominican Republic. A Dec. 8 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report says 91,770 cases have been reported nationwide and 43,243 patients had been hospitalized. More than 2,000 have died.

haiti-aid-workers

At a community training event in Haiti, aid workers demonstrate how to make a rehydration solution for a patient with cholera.
Photo by EDV Media Director via Flickr

The report comes a day after the Associated Press reported that a contingent of U.N. peacekeepers was the likely source of the cholera outbreak, citing a report written by a scientist who was sent by the French government to assist Haitian health officials.

Soldiers who arrived at the U.N. base, upstream from where the first cases of cholera were reported, soon before the cholera outbreak came from Nepal, according to the story.

Dr. Jordan W. Tappero, director of the Health System Reconstruction Office at the CDC’s Center for Global Health, did tell reporters that the CDC did analyze the cholera strain in Haiti and identified it as a strain that is circulating in South Asia.

Lin is one of 11 AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows visiting the CDC this week. The fellows are attending sessions on epidemiology, global disease prevention efforts, pandemic flu preparedness, climate change, vaccine safety, obesity, autism and have toured the CDC director’s National Emergency Operations Center.

Other dispatches from the AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows:

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