Haiti faces rise in cholera cases as rainy season hits

The United Nations humanitarian agency recently warned that the number of cholera cases in Haiti is expected to rise with the onset of the rainy season.

Cholera cases in the Caribbean nation have already begun to surge. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that the western and northern regions of the country reported an upswing in new cases. Haitian health officials said they have recorded more than 70 new cases a day since the beginning of March, according to USA Today.

Medical teams have already been sent to the affected areas, but the U.N. said its work is hampered by a lack of coordination and funding for salaries paid to those working at cholera treatment centers.

The regular operations of the Haitian government have practically halted since Prime Minister Garry Conille suddenly resigned in February after clashing with President Michel Martelly. Laurent Lamothe, Martelly's foreign affairs minister, was chosen as a replacement, but it remains unclear when Parliament will vote on his candidacy.

Partners in Health, a Boston-based non-profit, hoped to introduce a new vaccine to Haiti, but an ethics committee has yet to green-light the controversial program, USA Today reports.

The cholera outbreak, now considered the largest in the world, has killed more than 7,000 people and sickened over 500,000 more. It was likely introduced by a U.N. peacekeeping team from Nepal in the months after the devastating January 2010 earthquake.