Cholera Outbreak Hits Port-au-Prince - by Stephen Lendman
On November 9, Haiti Libre said city authorities examined at least 120 suspected cases, mostly in Cite Soleil, the extremely impoverished, densely populated community home to around 400,000. More vulnerable from Hurricane Tomas flooding, Partners in Health (PIH) called crowded camps "a potential flashpoint for a cholera outbreak. There is growing concern" about reported cases, thousands that may spread to many more.
In recent days, cases "continued to expand geographically. More (appeared) in Haiti's Central Plateau," PIH reporting 111 people hospitalized. Reported deaths also keep rising, likely much higher than Haiti's Health Ministry 544 figure on November 8. On November 9, Al Jazeera reported 583 deaths, the numbers increasing daily. The report also said:
"At least 115 cases of cholera, including the death of (at least) one person, have been registered in Haiti's capital, the most significant warning sign yet that the epidemic has spread from outlying areas to threaten hundreds of thousands of people in the city's camps."
Reporter Sebastian Walker said hospitals were overwhelmed, adding:
"Given the sheer number of cases that hospitals are receiving, it is simply not possible to conduct laboratory tests in order to give 100 per cent overall confirmation that this is cholera."
Given the familiar symptoms, however, including severe diarrhea, vomiting and fever, there's little doubt about the cause. Over 9,000 cases so far have been identified, mostly in the Artibonite area, north of Port-au-Prince.
Walker also said that "It is almost impossible to contain this disease in an environment like this. Port-au-Prince is a very overcrowded city with appalling sanitation infrastructure."