Cholera Cuba
Cholera Outbreak Kills 250 in West Africa

The cholera outbreak in Haiti is getting worse day by day with confirmed cases jumping to more than 700 and cholera-related deaths to about 161.

According to the Pan-American Health Organisation(PAHO), confirmed cases of cholera in Haiti jumped to more than 700 cases and cholera-related deaths to 161. The health officials in Haiti revealed that they are investigating a further 7,000 suspected cases of cholera.

Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae and is contracted by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with the bacterium. Cholera can affect both children and adults. It causes severe diarrhea, and can kill the person within hours if the condition is left untreated, BBC reported.

The current Cholera outbreak started at the beginning of October when two cases were confirmed in the greater Port-au-Prince area. Before those two cases were reported, there had not been any cases of Cholera in Haiti for the past three years.

Haiti had been cholera-free until 2010. In 2010, cholera spread from leaking sewage pipes from a United Nations base housing Nepalese peacekeepers. Almost 10,000 people died in the 2010 Cholera outbreak. After the tragedy, the UN later apologized for its failure to prevent the spread of the disease.

The United Nations is calling for funding to provide clean water, hygiene, and sanitation to slow down the spread of the disease and has appealed for nearly $150m to help contain the spread of the disease.

The cholera outbreak comes at a worrying point in time when Haiti is already mired in a security crisis. Armed gangs control most parts of the capital. Heavy gunfights and constant war between rival gangs in the capital have disrupted food, water, and fuel deliveries in several parts of Haiti.

According to the UN, nearly half of Haiti's population is experiencing high levels of food insecurity and approximately 100,000 people have been displaced by the rising gang violence.

Meanwhile, PAHO head Carissa Etienne stated that approximately about half a million people in Haiti are at risk of contracting cholera.

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