Cholera Outbreak In Haiti Widens; Fears Over Outbreak In Port-au-Prince

October 25, 2010 7:10 am 1 comment

Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince, which was devastated by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12.

Today in Latin America

Top Story – The cholera outbreak in Haiti has claimed the lives of more than 250 people and infected over 3,000 as fears rise that the outbreak will spread to the earthquake-ravaged capital of Port-au-Prince.

The outbreak, which was first identified late last week, is centered in the Lower Artibonite region, north of  of Port-au-Prince and is believed to have originated from a local river. Cholera, which causes diarrhea and vomiting that leads to severe dehydration, can kill a person within hours if untreated.

There have been five cholera patients in the Haitian capital, but they have so far been isolated incidents. Authorities worry that widespread poverty and poor sanitation, due in part to the massive earthquake earlier this year, could allow the outbreak to spread quickly throughout the city.

“It’s not difficult to prevent the spread to Port-au-Prince. We can prevent it,” said Health Ministry director Gabriel Timothee, according to The Associated Press. Haitian officials over the weekend were optimistic that the bacterial disease could be confined to the rural areas.

Cholera has not been present in Haiti since the 1960s and health officials did not predict that it would reemerge in the country. However aid workers are ready to respond to the outbreak with supplies of clean water being trucked in and cholera clinics set up to provide specialized, contained treatment for the sick.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is in the Artibonite region where 20 staff members are working to save sick patients and prevent the bacterial disease from spreading.

“There are significant numbers of patients in St. Nicholas Hospital in St. Marc, which does not have the capacity to handle a cholera emergency,” said Federica Nogarotto, MSF emergency coordinator in St. Marc, Haiti. “The most important thing is to isolate the cholera patients there from the rest of the patients, in order to best treat those people who are infected and to prevent further spread of the disease. This will also enable the hospital to run as normally as possible. We are setting up a separate, isolated cholera treatment center now.”

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala outlined his nationalist program on Thursday in New York, saying it would transform Peru from a mineral exporting country to an industrialized country that privileges the internal market.
  • With it the nation’s toughest state immigration law, Arizona has taken center stage in the national debate about immigration as the midterm elections approach. Molly O’Toole reports from Arizona in a three-part series.
  • The threat to freedom of the press posed by Mexico’s drug cartels begs a bilateral response, a panel of journalists and press freedom groups said in New York Tuesday. Andrew O’Reilly has more.
  • Protesters demand restraints on federal involvement in immigration enforcement in New York City jails, reports Alison Bowen in Beyond Borders.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

Caribbean

Central America

Andes

Southern Cone

Image:

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email

1 Comment

Leave a Reply


Other News

  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Brazilian Man Confesses to Killing 39 People, Attempts Suicide in Jail

    Top Story — A Brazilian man confessed to committing at least 39 murders after police arrested him in the city of Goiânia on Thursday after a 70-day investigation. Thiago Henrique Gomes de Rocha, a 26-year-old security guard, seems to have targeted women, homeless people and homosexuals. De Rocha, who committed the murders over three years, approached his victims on a motorcycle before demanding their belongings and then shooting them. Police noted de Rocha’s “coldness” and extreme rage when recounting his […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Today in Latin America Venezuela Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Falling Oil Prices Raise Worries of Venezuela Default, Crisis

    Top Story — Analysts are worried about a new phase of economic chaos in Venezuela as falling oil prices continue to take their toll. Insurance rates on the country’s debt shot up Wednesday to a new high, more than three times the size of the rate in late June, after a drop in oil prices raised worries the country may fail to pay off its obligations to foreign bondholders. The spike in Venezuela’s bond insurance rates means it costs investors […]

    Read more →
  • Caribbean Haiti North America Today in Latin America U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    U.N. Extends Controversial Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti

    Top Story — The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will be renewed for another year, the U.N. Security Council announced on Tuesday. The council, composed of 15 nations, unanimously decided to renew the MINUSTAH mandate, though the number of military personnel in Haiti will be reduced from 5,000 to 2,370. The number of police personnel will remain unchanged. MINUSTAH was initially created in 2004 after former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in a coup, leading to violence and […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Mexican Radio Host Shot Dead on the Air

    Top Story — Mexican activist and radio host Atilano Roman Tirado was shot on-air during his weekly program Oct. 11 in the state of Sinaloa. Two gunmen forced their way into the radio studio of Fiesta Mexicana where Tirado hosted his Saturday morning program “Así es mi Tierra.” Listeners of the program could hear a shot fired around 10:40 a.m. followed by a co-worker’s voice saying, “he killed him.” Programming on the station did not resume for another 30 minutes. […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Bolivia Dispatches Bolivians in New York Cast Votes for President, Favoring Opposition

    Bolivians in New York Cast Votes for President, Favoring Opposition

    NEW YORK – When Bolivians in New York City cast their votes in a presidential election Sunday, most of them went against the trend that swept President Evo Morales into his third term. While Morales won around 60 percent of the vote in Bolivia, New York voters gave him just over a quarter of their vote, preferring instead the opposition candidate Samuel Doria Medina. The remote election in New York was held at a public school in the Latino enclave […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexico Arrests Another Drug Cartel Kingpin

    Mexico Arrests Another Drug Cartel Kingpin

    Top Story – Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, alleged leader of Mexico’s Juarez cartel, was captured in the Mexican city of Torreon, the Associated Press reports. This is the second arrest in two weeks of a major Mexican cartel leader, following that of Hector Beltrán Leyva, of the Beltran Leyva organization on Oct. 1. Nicknamed “The Viceroy,” or “The General,” Fuentes had a $5 million reward for his arrest in the United States and a $2.2 million reward in Mexico. He took […]

    Read more →
  • Mexico North America Photo Essays United States Leftist Groups in New York Protest Student Killings in Mexico

    Leftist Groups in New York Protest Student Killings in Mexico

    NEW YORK — Dozens of activists congregated outside the Mexican consulate to protest the Sept. 26 attack in Mexico’s Guerrero state that left six dead, 25 injured and at least 43 students missing. Authorities have detained at least 22 police officers suspected of involvement in the attack. Activists in Mexico held similar protests in at least 63 cities. Cities as far away as Buenos Aires and Berlin also saw demonstrations in solidarity with the students. In New York, a handful of leftist and […]

    Read more →
  • Andes Blog Today in Latin America Venezuela Shootout Between Authorities and Militiamen Leaves Five Dead in Caracas

    Shootout Between Authorities and Militiamen Leaves Five Dead in Caracas

    Top Story — A shootout between Venezuelan police and pro-government militia members in downtown Caracas left five dead and four injured. A high-profile militia leader anticipated his own death during the raid when he announced on camera that the minister of the interior should be to blame for any attempts on his life. The hostilities began early on Tuesday, when police raided a high-rise building allegedly occupied by pro-government loyalists. One militiaman died in the initial clash, leading to an […]

    Read more →
  • Chile Southern Cone Today in Latin America Chile Supreme Court Orders Halt to Mining Project

    Chile Supreme Court Orders Halt to Mining Project

    Top Story – Chile’s Supreme Court has blocked the development of a gold and copper mine following an appeal by the Diaguita indigenous community. The court’s decision overturned a lower court’s rejection of the indigenous group’s appeal in April. The El Morro mine, owned by Canadian giant Goldcorp, is worth about $3.9 billion. The Diaguita community argues that work on the mine could pollute a nearby river. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Tuesday revoked the mine’s environmental permit pending a […]

    Read more →
  • Central America Dispatches North America United States A Day on a New York City “Rocket Docket”

    A Day on a New York City “Rocket Docket”

    The minors and their guardians sit in the fluorescent-lit room and stare at the sketch on the whiteboard. The image represents a map of Mexico and the U.S. separated by a line: the border. Elvis Garcia Callejas, a case manager with Catholic Charities, presides over the information session. “So, you all crossed that line and that’s why you’re sitting here, right?” Callejas asks the group. A few sheepishly smile while others are busy texting on their phones. A native of […]

    Read more →