[public-health] DISASTERS: HURRICANES : COUNTRIES: HAITI : ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : MEDICAL: DISEASES: CHOLERA: Cholera in Haiti Isn’t Just Bad News-It’s Not Going Away

 

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DISASTERS: HURRICANES :

COUNTRIES: HAITI :

ENVIRONMENT GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

MEDICAL: DISEASES: CHOLERA:

Cholera in Haiti Isn’t Just Bad News-It’s Not Going Away

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Cholera in Haiti Isn’t Just Bad News-It’s Not Going Away

AUTHOR: MARLEY WALKER.

SCIENCE

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10.14.16.

TIME OF PUBLICATION: 7:00 AM.

Wired

https://www.wired.com/2016/10/ haitis-cholera-outbreak-isnt-just-bad-news-old-news/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/hpf5yxs

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THE ODDS ARE stacked against Haiti. Geologically, its wedged between tectonic plates, where earthquakes happen. Meteorologically, its in the center of hurricane alley, where massive storms roil. And historically, the country is forever fighting a colonial legacy that left it largely incapable of recovering from natural disasters. Like endemic cholera, caused by the United Nations botched response to 2010s earthquake and exacerbated by Hurricane Matthew flooding the countrys southwestern peninsula.

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The hurricane may have put cholera in the news again, but really, the disease never went away. In the six years since cholera seeped from a UN camps faulty plumbing, it has infected at least 800,000 Haitians and killed nearly 10,000. Theres no doubt that the main route of transmission is contaminated drinking water that hasnt been filtered or heated, says Art Reingold, an epidemiologist at the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. Its symptoms are diarrhea and dehydration, sometimes serious enough to be fatal. But thanks to the work of Haitis Ministry of Health, the disease peaked in 2011 at 6,766 cases a week. Since then, the number of cases has dropped by 90 percent, and the fatality rate fell slightly, from 1.04 percent to 0.075 percent.

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So thats good news right? But get this: In 2016, the country reported 771 cases every week, with 28,559 in the last ten months. That was before Matthew hit, knocking back the Ministrys progress and bringing the perfect conditionsflooding, mostly for a cholera epidemic to spread anew. Since the storm, health workers have diagnosed more than 200 people, and 13 have died. Were seeing a resurgence of an outbreak, says Patrick Dupont, program director for Haiti at the Real Medicine Foundation, a humanitarian support group that works in disaster-stricken areas. It wasnt completely cured or eliminated in Haiti at all.

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Not for lack of trying. Since 2010, Haitis Ministry of Health has invested in safe water infrastructure, and partnered with NGOs to administer oral vaccines. They established protocols for putting cholera treatment facilities next to, but separate from, general care hospitals. If a hospital practicing general care identified a cholera patient, he or she was referred to a center, so they could isolated, treated, and doctors could control dissemination, Dupont says.

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But those cholera treatment facilities were often just plywood structures or tents. You can imagine how well those survived Hurricane Matthew. Only five of the original 12 remain, according to Sean Casey, the International Medical Corps emergency response team leader in Haiti. Along with general care facilities, these remaining centers have seen an influx of people since Hurricane Matthew, and healthcare workers are no longer able to isolate cholera-infected patients. When kept in the same area as everyone else, the chance of transmission goes up.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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Author: jwneastro

I am a reference librarian at Temple University and a specialist in bibliographic database searching.

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