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- Nov 11, '10 by indigo girlHaiti - Epidemic : The Artibonite need at least 1,200 body bags - HaitiLibre.com, Haiti News, The haitian people's voice
Quote from www.haitilibre.com(hat tip crofsblog]In the Artibonite, the center of the epidemic, OCHA, MINUSTAH, the government and humanitarian partners report that with the increasing workload, more medical staff with more experience is needed urgently as well as medical supplies supplementary, including at least 1,200 body bags according to an official report.
Despite the active presence on the ground of the Cuban brigade, consisting of 118 doctors, 78 nurses and 56 others (laboratory technicians and medical staff of Haiti which was trained in Cuba) plus the major human resources of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Partners in Health, Artibonite and Northwest, have a need for more medical partners on the ground.
Following the increase of cases in the Northern Department, UNICEF stated that a Cholera Treatment Centre (CTC) had been installed in Port-de-Paix. Specialists are being deployed to provide technical assistance. The logistics division carried six tents, 1,000 liters of Ringer's lactate, 200,000 sachets of oral rehydration salts sachets, chlorine for disinfection and 150,000 tablets for purifying water.
- Nov 11, '10 by cherryames1949This is a desperate story. Everybody saw it coming. If only every country would send the help they promised. Haiti is one of our closest neighbors. We need to do better.
- Nov 11, '10 by indigo girlNot a popular cause. Cholera is so less interesting than an earthquake.
- Nov 17, '10 by indigo girlNightmare in Haiti
BBC News - Haiti protester shot dead by UN peacekeepers
Quote from www.bbc.co.ukCholera in PaP NPH Saint Damien Hospital HaitiUN peacekeepers in Cap Haitien and Hinche were the target of protesters wielding stones and in some cases - the UN says - guns.
Some Haitians have accused peacekeepers from Nepal of introducing cholera to Haiti for the first time in a century.
The UN says it has found no evidence to justify the accusation, but the cholera strain matches a South Asian one.
Quote from saintdamienhospital.nph.org(thanks to crofsblog for both links)Dear Friends
I worked all night at our cholera treatment area, and during the night I saw a comparison I never would have imagined. Stepping out of the tents for fresh air from time to time, I saw the pearly white crescent moon overhead, beautiful and calming. Inside the tents, also set against a deep darkness, the eyes of the most severe of the sick people have the same form. Eyes sunk deeply to that the whites of the eye stay below the upper eyelid, with the eye rolled upward toward the forehead. Two crescent moons. It is a scary sight to see the depth of the apathy and surrender, not an ounce of fight left. It is sadder still to see it in children.
The last time I wrote there were about 4,300 reported cases of cholera in Haiti. That number is climbing to 20,000 with 1000 deaths. I read reports that about 200,000 cases are anticipated before there is a decline. We are setting up two more tents of 16 cots each, which will put our small base at 100 beds. You can believe me that even 100 people represent enormous human suffering, as well as enormous devotion (and work!).
The public morgue will not accept bodies, for fear of cholera. You cannot even bring the garbage to the normal dump without getting stoned by the neighbours for fear of cholera. We are cremating our own dead. It is sobering to be the one to push the furnace button, after placing the child inside. All night I see how closely the parents cling to their children, accepting to sleep in the most difficult positions as they find the best way to hold their child. I watch them and admire them, but the in the case of the children I am sure will die, it seems so unfair that the children are slipping away from such tender arms. The last arms to hold them are mine, as I place them in the crematorium. The grief of the mothers is as difficult for us to take as the illness.
- Nov 17, '10 by indigo girlFlorida woman diagnosed with cholera after return from Haiti - Miami-Dade Breaking News - MiamiHerald.com
Quote from www.miamiherald.com(hat tip crofsblog)FTASKER@MIAMIHERALD.COM
A Collier County woman who traveled to visit family in Haiti's disease-stricken Artibonite Valley has become Florida's first local case of cholera transmitted from the beleaguered country, where the disease has killed nearly 1,000 and hospitalized more than 9,000.
``She's doing quite well,'' said Dr. Thomas Torok, a cholera expert in the Florida Department of Health's Bureau of Epidemiology. ``Additional cases are under investigation in several counties.''
Torok declined to identify the woman, except to say she does not work in a job that puts her in close contact with the public, so the chance that she might pass on the disease is very small. He said she returned from Haiti about a week ago showing cholera symptoms, and the Collier County Health Department confirmed the case and sent samples on to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for further testing.
Last week, the state health department issued an advisory requiring Florida doctors and hospitals to quickly test patients showing cholera symptoms -- primarily profuse, watery diarrhea, dehydration and fever -- to county health departments.
New cases are expected in Florida because the state has about 241,000 Haitian-born residents, many of whom travel back and forth frequently, particularly since the Jan. 12 earthquake.
- UN worries its troops caused cholera in Haiti
H5N1: UN worries its troops caused cholera in Haiti
What is there to say? Disastrous in so very many ways, and can it get any worse?
I do think that it is very interesting though that many diseases can be traced back to point of origin. Something to think about for the future if we refuse tx or vaccinations for causing illness in others? Maybe...
Can we be held accountable, legally for making others ill? Certainly there will be a
heavy price to pay for what is now happening in Haiti.
Quote from crofsblogs.typepad.comWhether or not the Nepalese brought cholera to Haiti, the UN has failed, on a surprisingly basic level, to deal with a serious public-relations problem.
I used to teach my first-year business-communications students how to handle a PR disaster: One of your whitewater-rafting customers drowns; what do you do? One of the toddlers in your daycare is injured; what do you do?
The answer: Tell the truth, tell it often, and tell it well. As soon as you try to spin the problem, you are throwing yourself into a world of hurt. The cover-up is always worse than the original mistake.
- Cholera Cases Near 50,000
CIDRAP >> Protests rattle Haiti as cholera cases near 50,000
Quote from www.cidrap.umn.edu(thanks to crofsblog for staying on top of this outbreak)Adding to suspicions that UN soldiers could have been the source of the cholera, a Swedish diplomat who was stationed in Haiti on Nov 18 claimed that Nepal was the source of Haiti's outbreak, the Himalayan Times reported yesterday. However, Nepal's UN mission based in New York rejected claims against the Nepalese soldiers as "baseless," Nepal News reported today.
Earlier tests on the strain of bacterium causing Haiti's cholera outbreak have shown that it came from south Asia, and health officials have said the exact source of the outbreak may never be known.
Yesterday the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an update in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that said detailed laboratory analysis of 14 samples from patients in the Artibonite region, where the outbreak started, were indistinguishable. This finding suggests that a single strain was responsible for all of the illnesses.
The CDC said that, if the isolates represent the strain currently circulating in Haiti, it's likely that the Vibrio cholerae was introduced in one event. It said lab analysis on samples from people from other parts of Haiti is ongoing.
- ReliefWeb » Document » UN Facilities, Peacekeepers in Haiti Test Negative for Cholera
Quote from www.reliefweb.int(hat tip crofsblog)Some Haitians have blamed U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal for bringing the water-borne disease to their country. About 1,300 of the 12,000 peacekeepers in Haiti are from Nepal, where there has been an upsurge in cholera. But U.N. Peacekeeping spokesman Nick Birnback tells VOA there is no evidence to support such an accusation.
"According to the Nepalese battalions that are there, none of the soldiers have shown any symptoms of cholera. The tests of the premises and the outputs have consistently proven negative - there hasn't been a single positive test. So we think there is no conclusive evidence that shows that this contagion directly comes from this base," he said.
He said if a soldier or any other U.N personnel showed symptoms of cholera they would be quarantined and treated. "Were there to be a positive test by any of our blue helmets [ie, peacekeeper], or in fact anyone serving with United Nations in Haiti, that does not prove that they brought it in, it could mean that they got through the fact that they are living in an area that is afflicted by an epidemic," he said.
- Notes From The EpiCenter: We Are Out Of... Everything - Haiti: Operational Biosurveillance
This is a nightmare.
Quote from biosurveillance.typepad.com(hat tip crofsblog)
Notes From The EpiCenter: We Are Out Of... Everything
I am sad to report that things have worsened significantly and in 3 camps (St. Marc being the hardest hit that I have seen yet) have 76 known cholera deaths and 1,709 confirmed cases. The death toll of 76, I received yesterday from [REDACTED] was the count over approximately (the last) ten days in one camp. There are many more deaths from other camps and although some of us traveling to the rural areas are trying to remain in contact, it is nearly impossible. We are out of ORS - oral rehydration solution, pedialyte, IV fluids and tubing -- everything. The situation in the tent camps/cities is already full of unspeakable horrors and now for those with cholera the sight is just gruesome.
The rural camps, hardest hit by cholera are in the worst situation because there is NO relief aid presence and no UN presence. During this last trip it would take almost 5 hours to drive from St. Marc back to Port au Prince to try and secure supplies. We are purchasing ORS, water, and pedialyte (now absent from stores because we are buying so much of it). [REDACTED] gave me 10 cases of pedialyte and some other supplies, which is all they could afford because they feared an outbreak in Port au Prince. Finally, after running out of medications, fluids, etc. and being turned away from most all sources for medical supplies, including the UN, there was no way to help those suffering from cholera. It was simply too difficult to watch another baby die of dehydration and I came home to recover from the worst week I'd experienced in Haiti since the earthquake.
I have shared all my findings with the CDC in order to give them as much data as I can gather for their investigators. I have also given our findings to the MOH and OCHA - mainly for informational purposes because I've given up the hope of obtaining necessary supplies. I wish the news was better and sadly the deaths will continue because there is little to no support available for those providers in rural areas. There is very little available in the way of supplies even in the larger cities now facing patients with cholera. I am contacting organizations here at home to try and get the ORS, which comes in small packets, donated so I can take it back on my next trip.