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Haiti Cholera Outbreak Linked to S.Asian Strain

by Sheela Philomena on May 6, 2011 at 9:52 AM
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 Haiti Cholera Outbreak Linked to S.Asian Strain

The Haiti cholera outbreak that has claimed the lives of more than 4,850 people bears similarity to a South Asian strain of the disease, says US panel.

A panel of international health experts on Wednesday said the source of epidemic was "debatable" but that the United Nations "worldwide" must change the way it handles peacekeepers' health.

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The experts said the evidence "overwhelmingly supports" the conclusion that the Haiti epidemic was due to the contamination of a river near the Nepalese camp "with a pathogenic strain of current South Asian type" of cholera.

Water, sanitation and health system "deficiencies" led to the epidemic spreading further across Haiti, which is already recovering from an earthquake that killed about 220,000 people and political strife.
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The experts said peacekeepers should be treated and and there had to be better training of staff and improved treatment of waste.

The cholera epidemic erupted in October and authorities have since reported more than 4,850 deaths. The disease had not previously been known in Haiti for a century.

Source: AFP
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