Cholera epidemic in Haiti is blamed on poor sanitation

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 10 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2944
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

The source of Haiti’s ongoing cholera epidemic did not originate on the island, and the strain is very similar to those currently circulating in south Asia, says a report by an independent expert panel. The outbreak has so far claimed nearly 5000 lives.

The report says, “The evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that the source of the Haiti cholera outbreak was due to contamination of the Meye tributary of the Artibonite River with a pathogenic strain of current South Asian type Vibrio cholerae as a result of human activity.”

The report, commissioned by the United Nations’ secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, after it was claimed that the epidemic had …

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