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- Nov 21, '10 by indigo girlHaitian cholera hospital counts its dead on the lawn
Quote from www.montrealgazette.comHaitians assault cholera body collectors - UPI.com"When the epidemic was just beginning, we reported only three new cases every day. Then their number jumped to 15 and then to 35. This morning we have already had 60."
Because the hospital has no access to the Internet, it has trouble reporting data to Port-au-Prince, the capital. However, it was visited Saturday by a group of French and Haitians doctors and epidemiologists, who were able to collect some information.
"We need chlorine, hydrating liquids, IV drips, antibiotics," added Soncon.
"We have some reserves, but the demand is so great that they will not last long."
Quote from www.upi.com(both links from crofsblog)Angry Haitians captured and beat a crew gathering the bodies of cholera victims, the team's leader said.
``I really thought they were going to kill me,'' Rochefort St.-Louis, head of a government body collection team, told The Miami Herald after he was eventually freed Saturday.
St.-Louis, 30, said he kept working after attack, taking 13 corpses to a mass grave near the city of Cabaret.
``I was afraid to lose the job,'' he said. ``This is my first job.''
- Nov 22, '10 by indigo girlHaiti's cholera epidemic caused by weather, say scientists | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Cholera already present, and conditions exacerbated spread. Interesting...
Quote from www.guardian.co.uk(hat tip crofsblog)
"Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium responsible for cholera, may have been dormant in water until weather-related conditions caused it to multiply enough to constitute an infective dose if ingested by humans," said David Sack, a cholera specialist at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US.
Colwell's research aims to predict cholera outbreaks by correlating disease occurrence with weather patterns, water surface temperatures and algal blooms (on which plankton that house the bacteria feed). She has found that the annual patterns of higher sea temperatures along the coast correlate with patterns of cholera cases in both Bangladesh and Peru, based on data from 1992–1995 and 1997-2000, respectively.
"Interestingly, the refugees got cholera first. If, as it is likely, cholera was already present in the Haitian coastal region, permanent residents exposed to low levels of the cholera bacterium for prolonged periods of time would logically have more immunity than refugees."
- Dominican Republic Closes Border to Haiti
H5N1: Haiti: DR closes border
Quote from crofsblogs.typepad.comWhile only 4 cases of cholera were confirmed and treated in recent days, Dominican Republic (no deaths), the authorities decided to close the border with Haiti where the disease has already made more than 2,000 dead.
"We must implement the government decision to close or reinforce the most vulnerable points of the border, where Haitians or other foreigners, healthy or sick can seep, we will suspend if necessary, the binational market, even if it means significant economic losses to both countries" made know the army chief.
Rivera Portes, arrived in Dajabón Thursday night at the head of a massive military convoy. A military cordon formed by more than 1,500 members of the army and hundreds of professionals and public health workers were deployed in the most vulnerable areas of the border with Haiti to prevent the spread of cholera. This device could be strengthened if necessary.
- UNICEF Urgently Needs Canadian French-Speaking Nurses to Combat Cholera Epidemic in Haiti
Quote from www.unicef.caToronto MP calls on doctors to help Haiti cholera victims - 680News
UNICEF Canada is issuing an urgent request to French-speaking registered nurses across Canada to immediately assist UNICEF in Haiti with its cholera epidemic response. Children are the most vulnerable during this crisis, representing more than half of Haiti’s population.
While UNICEF is bringing in additional supplies and deploying more staff in the field, lack of partners and human resources including medical staff in an overstretched health system is a serious obstacle in the effort to contain the epidemic and reduce mortality.
UNICEF Canada is contacting the Canadian medical community directly for their assistance and is also continuing to gather further details from UNICEF in Haiti about their specific requirements from French-speaking Canadian registered nurses.
Quote from www.680news.com(both links from crofsblogs)Jim Karygiannis, Liberal MP for the Ontario riding of Scarborough-Agincourt, said the doctors will be hosted by Humanity First, a non-governmental organization offering assistance to the Haitian earthquake survivors.
A Canadian entrepreneur has offered assistance to help with airfare, he said.
He hopes some doctors from his riding can take a week to 10 days out of their schedules to help out in Haiti.
Dozens of medical camps are being run by local Humanity First doctors, particularly in Gilgit and the North-West, and in Sindh and Southern Punjab. So far, over 16,000 patients have been treated.
- U.S. Response to Cholera Outbreak in Haiti
Quote from www.america.govOFDA [Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance of USAID] has provided about $9 million, committed about $9 million so far.
CDC also has a long history of working on cholera outbreaks in Asia, Africa, and in Latin America. And there’s really five areas that we would want to focus on and have continued to focus on while in Haiti.
One is we want to focus on patients who make it to the hospital to reduce the case fatality rate. In order to do that, we’re working with clinicians to educate them through a training-the-trainer program. Clinicians in Haiti, as was mentioned, aren’t used to seeing patients with cholera. It’s not reported to have been there in this generation, likely in past generations as well, so the education and training on how to diagnose and manage a patient with cholera is not present. And so we have a training system which will reach both the departmental hospitals and reach its way to the community as well, to community health workers.
Two, work with patients in the community who are sick who require ORS by providing health education and advising them, as Mark had mentioned, on the proper use of oral rehydration salts and, importantly, advising patients once they have acute watery diarrhea to seek healthcare.
Three is prevention, again, as was mentioned, via improved access to safe drinking water and education on improved hygiene, sanitation, and food preparation practices.
Four, working on surveillance, both laboratory surveillance and epidemiological surveillance to monitor the spread of disease and provide timely, detailed information about infections, death, and the fatality rate. And this information can be used to direct public health resources and support to the areas where it’s most needed.
And five, to continue to work on the science to adjust interventions, as necessary. Each cholera outbreak, the vehicle of transmission, the knowledge and attitude and practices of the local population may be slightly different. In Haiti, where cholera wasn’t present, again, the knowledge of cholera, the way it’s transmitted, the way to use oral rehydration salts, may not be the same as it is in other parts of the world where the disease is endemic.
And so working on those five aspects, we feel like we can help support Haiti and work on reducing the burden of disease.
- Nov 30, '10 by indigo girlChlolera Reaches Port Au Prince as Victims Left in Mass Graves
Cholera Reaches Port-au-Prince as Victims Are Left In Mass Graves On the Goat Path
Unbelieveable but likely to be the truth...
Quote from goatpath.wordpress.comFighting fear and tears in Haiti...there was a Cholera Treatment Center just 200 feet from where this man was dying, so we ran to the center and asked the staff to come and help this man who was fighting for his life. They delayed, and by the time they came to check on the man he had died. The mother wailed, stomping her feet and crying into her hands, and then a large truck with an open back pulled up carrying men draped in yellow rain coats and facemasks. They jumped off the truck and began spraying the body with a bleach-water mixture to disinfect the body and the surrounding area (including the mother)
The team wrapped the body in a white body bag and put it into the bed of the truck they had arrived in. They got back in the truck, drove to the cholera treatment center 200 feet away, picked up another 7 bodies, and then headed out. They told us they were heading to a mass grave that had been prepared, somewhere out in the mountains, and that we should follow. “You need to see how many bodies we have,” explained one of them.
The numbers are grossly under-reported, as the number of deaths that the Ministry of Health announces every day is only including those who died in a hospital, or were brought there after they died. Hundreds, if not thousands of people are dying in their homes, or out in the countryside, because they didn’t get a chance to make it to the hospital. While it’s just an estimate, I would say that that number is probably only a 10th of the real number of deaths. Even the team that was collecting bodies admitted that they didn’t provide their data to anyone.
Quote from www.ottawacitizen.com(Both links gathered by crofsblog)When Louise Noel closes her eyes, she sees eight-year-old Angeline Sérat lying in a hospital bed, sick with cholera and asking if she’s going to die.
“I told her no, I didn’t think it was serious. But when I went back to the hospital, she had passed away,” Louise said in French by telephone from Gonaďves, a city on the west coast of Haiti’s northern peninsula. “It’s very hard. I can’t sleep, because every time I try, I see that little girl.”
Louise noticed some children were coming down with diarrhea. Ismorin shuttled them to a nearby clinic run by Médicins Sans Frontičres while Louise stayed at the orphanage to look after the rest, with six children falling ill in total.
- Nov 30, '10 by indigo girlHaiti: Operational Biosurveillance
Current Map of Cholera-Affected Areas - Haiti: Operational Biosurveillance
Quote from biosurveillance.typepad.com(thanks again to crofsblog)Case fatality rates such as the most recent Health Cluster report of 2.3% is representative of gross national level aggregation of information available to officials, which represents a substantial bias towards CTC/CTUs staffed by experienced teams such as MSF. What is not reflected is the continually documented "first contact" pattern of daily clinical mortality seen by rural communities and urban environments such as Gonaives several weeks ago reported by officials do not reflect the true impact of cholera at the community level. The daily mortality we have documented on multiple occasions may range from 10 to 100%. We often see sudden overwhelming of local capacity to the point of backloading corpses for burial, having run out of body bags.
In some areas of Haiti, we have confirmation that in-patient statistics are under-reported by as much as 400%. In many areas of Haiti, we are documenting outbreaks that are not being accounted for in the official statistics. We therefore estimate the upper bound of estimated total (subclinical and clinically apparent) case counts to be nearly one million. From a practical operations point of view, these estimates are academic. The bottom line is the epidemic continues to spread completely out of control.
We are now pursuing answers to the question of uptake by indigenous zooplankton and spread along oceanic currents that pass west of the Gonave Gulf, which is where the Artibonite River discharges, north and west along the northern Cuban coastline and north to the waters east of Florida.
Multiple healthcare worker infections have been reported on the ground in Haiti with one report of a worker returning to the United States infected.
- Nov 30, '10 by cherryames1949You are about the only person reporting on the cholera epidemic in Haiti. Thank you and God bless you.
- Dec 1, '10 by indigo girlJust on this site perhaps, but certainly there are others. I know the world is saturated with hard luck stories right now, and I do understand why it is hard for many to invest in yet another disaster scenario, yet, I am so very sorry for the innocent ones dying of a preventable disease when we are not so far away that we couldn't do more about this is had we the will to do so.
I cannot for the life of me, imagine dead children being dumped on the street to be buried in anonymous graves like they were trash.
- Dec 3, '10 by indigo girlCanadian Red Cross to open new field hospital for cholera patients
H5N1: Canadian Red Cross to open new field hospital for cholera patients
Quote from crofsblogs.typepad.comThe Canadian Red Cross will deploy tomorrow its new field hospital to treat people who have contracted cholera in Haiti. The field hospital was created as part of the First Responder Initiative, a partnership with the Government of Canada.
The First Responder Initiative includes two health emergency response units: a rapid deployment field hospital and a basic health care unit. Both are modular and can be deployed with specific equipment and personnel to best meet the needs of the health crisis.
The basic health care unit will be deployed to Haiti and will be set up as a cholera treatment centre, where patients can be treated day and night. This is the first time a Red Cross field hospital will be deployed from within the Americas.