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Haitian Cholera Epidemic Worsening With Start Of Rainy Season

According to the Haitian government, more than 5,800 people have died of cholera since the epidemic began in October, and health care workers have seen an increase in cases “[w]ith the rainy season now in progress,” the Los Angeles Times reports (Gaestel, 7/24).

Boston-based Partners in Health, which has been active in Haiti for decades, said “nearly 15,000 patients sought treatment for the disease at its clinics in June. That is quadruple the number treated in April – and many health workers are expecting the situation to get worse as heavy rains cause flooding that could contaminate drinking water,” the Boston Globe writes (Satija, 7/24).

In related news, on Friday, “European Union (E.U.) health officials … warned [.pdf] travelers about a risk of contracting cholera in the Dominican Republic, a magnet for tourists, while the World Health Organization (WHO) said cholera outbreaks along Africa’s Congo River have killed 271 people,” according to CIDRAP News (Roos, 7/22).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.