PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 24 (UPI) — Doctors and relief workers in Haiti say they fear a cholera outbreak north of Port-au-Prince will reach the capital as the disease’s death toll surpassed 250.
Ariel Henry, chief of staff at the Haitian Ministry of Health, said some 3,115 cases have been confirmed, The Wall Street Journal reported. He estimated 253 people have died from the disease.
“I have no doubt that it will arrive in Port-au-Prince, because people are moving a lot. It will arrive during the next week probably,” Henry said.
Since first appearing earlier this year in the town of St.-Marc, 60 miles north of the capital, efforts to contain the disease haven’t been entirely successful, as five residents of Port-au-Prince were diagnosed with cholera Saturday, The New York Times said.
The disease is generally acquired by contact with infected human feces, which is common among the poverty-stricken tent cities where more than 1 million Haitians live after January’s massive earthquake, officials told the Times.
Federica Nogarotto, a Doctors Without Borders coordinator in St.-Marc, said in a statement the hospital in St.-Marc “does not have the capacity to handle a cholera emergency” and efforts were under way to create isolation treatment areas.
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