Cholera Confirmed in Haiti, October 21, 2010

Cholera Confirmed in Haiti, October 21, 2010

From The CDC - An outbreak of cholera was confirmed in Haiti on October 21, 2010. Cholera had not been documented in Haiti for decades so cholera outbreaks were considered unlikely in Haiti immediately following the earthquake in January, 2010. For a cholera outbreak to occur, two conditions have to be met: (1) there must be significant breeches in the water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure used by groups of people, permitting large-scale exposure to food or water contaminated with Vibrio cholera organisms; and (2) cholera must be present in the population. While it is unclear how cholera was re-introduced to Haiti, both of these conditions now exist.

Cholera infection is most often asymptomatic or causes a mild gastroenteritis. However, about 5% of infected persons develop severe, dehydrating, acute watery diarrhea. The first line of treatment for cholera is rehydration. Administration of oral rehydration salts and, when necessary, intravenous fluids and electrolytes in a timely manner with adequate volumes will reduce case-fatality rates to

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