Haiti cholera toll reaches 3,651

January 7th, 2011 - 11:19 am ICT by IANS  

Port-au-Prince, Jan 7 (IANS/EFE) At least 3,651 people have died in the cholera epidemic that broke out in October last year in Haiti, according to figures released by the public health ministry.A total of 171,304 people have been infected with the disease, the ministry said Thursday.

According to the latest information dated Jan 1, 95,039 people were hospitalised with the deadly disease, but 92,618 have already been released.

Cholera, which appeared for the first time in mid-October in the central town of Mirebalais, has spread into all 10 Haitian provinces and even into the neighbouring Dominican Republic where 148 people have fallen ill.

The province hardest hit by the disease is Artibonite, in the northwest, where 840 people have died, followed by Nord with 577 deaths, Grand’Anse in the southwest with 563, and Ouest, which includes the capital, with 536.

The origin of the outbreak is not entirely clear, but a French medical study says soldiers from Nepal — the scene earlier this year of a cholera epidemic — participating in the UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti dumped human waste from their camp into a river used for drinking water by residents of Mirebalais, and the disease appeared there shortly thereafter.

The epidemic comes as Haiti is still struggling to recover from the Jan 12 earthquake that left about 300,000 dead and over a million people homeless.

–IANS/EFE
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