Cholera spreading fast throughout Haiti: US study

December 9, 2010

Cholera is spreading rapidly throughout Haiti, highlighting the need for urgent efforts to curb the epidemic, a report from the US-based Centers for Disease Control said Wednesday.

The report said all 10 departments and the capital city of Port-au-Prince have reported confirmed cases of .

The most recent reports from said more than 2,120 people have died from the disease.

The CDC said that as of December 3, a total of 91,770 cases had been reported nationwide, and 43,243 patients had been hospitalized.

In some cases, the CDC said deaths are occurring as rapidly as two hours after people fall ill.

Jordan Tappero, director of the Health Systems Reconstruction Office at the CDC's Center for Global Health told reporters in a conference call "It's everywhere" in Haiti.

Tappero said Haiti's neighbor to the east, the Dominican Republic, is reporting cases of cholera in its two largest cities but that the country may cope better than Haiti because it has better access to clean water.

The report said that despite global aid, "the size and speed of this cholera outbreak, combined with the lack of safe water and sanitation infrastructure in Haiti, indicate that further action is urgently needed to reduce cholera transmission and mortality."

"All parties should extend their periods of involvement and redouble their efforts to support efforts in Haiti to reduce the burden of this disease," it said.

The CDC noted that "short-term and long-term efforts also are needed to prevent cholera transmission."

Haiti, the poorest country in the hemisphere, is struggling with recovery from a massive earthquake in January as well as the as it carries out elections that have sparked protests around the country.

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