Haiti Faces ‘Largest’ Cholera Epidemic In Modern History, PAHO Says

“Almost two years after the devastating 7.0 earthquake destroyed much of Port-au-Prince, full recovery appears to be years away,” the Miami Herald reports, noting that “[t]housands of people continue to live in makeshift shelters and tents [and] rubble from dilapidated buildings still line some streets” (Lee, 1/7). In addition, “[t]he cholera outbreak in Haiti is ‘one of the largest epidemics of the disease in modern history to affect a single country,’ the U.N. World Health Organization’s Pan-American Health Organization [PAHO] said in a news release,” according to United Press International (1/7).

Jon Kim Andrus, deputy director of PAHO, said on Saturday that as of December, more than 7,000 people had died of the disease since the epidemic began in October 2010, more than 520,000 cases had been reported, and 200 new cases are reported daily, Agence France-Presse notes (1/7). “The disease has spread across the island of Hispaniola to Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, which has reported 21,000 cases and 363 deaths from cholera, he said,” USA Today reports (Leger, 1/5).

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