Scanning electron microscope image of Vibrio cholerae. Author: Wikipedia

The World Health Organization said on Tuesday that the death toll from a cholera outbreak in Haiti was “much higher” than reported and was expected to rise, warning that multiple crises in the country would complicate humanitarian aid.

The crisis-hit Caribbean nation said on Sunday that at least seven people had died from cholera, raising fresh fears of a resurgence of the epidemic nearly three years after the last confirmed case in Haiti.

Several suspected cases were detected in Carrefour-Feuillet on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince and in the coastal area of ​​Cite-Salay.

The areas are completely controlled by gangs and have been very difficult to access since late July 2022.

The situation in Haiti has worsened in recent weeks with blockades, fuel shortages, protest marches, looting and general strikes.

“This situation makes humanitarian aid much more difficult,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva.

“The situation is evolving rapidly, and earlier cases may have gone unnoticed.”

He said the death toll could be “significantly higher”.

“With this humanitarian situation, the sanitary situation, and areas controlled by gangs, where there is little access to control, verification or even help, we have to expect, unfortunately, that there will be more and more cases,” he said.

Lindmeier said that a request for submission to the international coordination group for the procurement of oral vaccines against cholera is being prepared.

In February of this year, Haiti marked three years without a single confirmed case of cholera and was preparing to apply for cholera– free status certification at the end of 2022.

Cholera killed about 10,000 people in the 2010 Haiti earthquake when United Nations relief workers brought it into the country.

This historic first outbreak affected at least 820,000 people and resulted in 9,800 deaths, according to the WHO.

The first viral infections were detected around the Artibanit River, where the UN peacekeepers were dropped feces.

It was only in August 2016 that the UN officially acknowledged its role in the outbreak.

Haiti reports first cholera deaths in three years

© 2022 AFP

Citation: WHO Warns Haiti Cholera Toll May Rise (2022, October 4) Retrieved October 4, 2022, from

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